Wild cat sighting on Cannock Chase
Seeing is simply believing for one visitor to Cannock Chase who was stopped in his tracks by what looks like a wild cat while out walking at the beauty spot.
The image of the feline creature was captured on film and posted on social network Twitter by user OrangeCat@Cocktimusprime4 who says: "I saw the #Cannock #Chase #Cat today walked up tree and stared at me it was the size of a average dog."
The black and white photograph shows a cat-like creature sitting on a branch amid thick foliage with its back to the lens.
It is the latest reported sighted of a big cat in the forest in Staffordshire.
Have you seen the Cannock Chase cat? Leave your comments below.
Rumours about mysterious beasts roaming the site are as old as the hills in the area and have become legends.
In August 2009 there were reports of big cats preying on deer on the Chase.
The following year a large paw print was discovered, in Norton Canes, by plumber Kevin Goodson who was walking his two labradors. The discovery of the six-inch impression came a fortnight after a deer kill prompted fears of a big cat stalking the Chase. Retired miner Steve Allatt, of Heath Hayes, he discovered a fawn lying dead in a ditch with two puncture holes in its neck.
An expert from the Exotic Animal Registry based in Bristol said that a black panther may have been responsible for it.
Reports of wild cats in West Midland woodlands have been rife ever since the Dangerous Wild Animals Act in 1976 imposed stringent conditions on anybody keeping such animals. Reports of such animals being released into the wild by people who previously kept them as pets have led to countless legends.
The legends about the beasts of the Cannock Chase and of Wyre Forest has inspired television wildlife expert Martin Belderson, of BBC's Wildlife On One and Horizon, to write a novel under the pen-name Jack Churchill. While other stories have emerged from neighbouring Shropshire
It is believed panthers and pumas might have been on the Chase as far back as the 1940s as it was common for rich people to keep big cats and some would have escaped from their owners or even been Some big cats like leopards and pumas like to have large territories to roam round and often cover huge distances of around 30 miles in one day. Experts believe it would be easy for big cats to move between the counties.
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