A MAN has described the moment he spotted ‘a large black cat’ in a field in Barnack.
Philip Sturley, 62, of Bull Brigg Lane, Whitwell, was walking in the field near the David Wilson Homes Estate in Uffington Road yesterday morning (Monday) when he caught sight of a creature on the prowl about 50 yards away from him.
Philip, a keen glider pilot, was visiting the site where he had witnessed the crash landing of a glider in the field on Sunday to see if the area had been cleared.
But he was shocked to see the animal.
He said: “I just saw this creature which I first thought was a dog, and then a cat because of its tail but then I realised it was much, much bigger than a domestic cat.
“I was about to call to it but then I thought that’s not a good thing to do.
“It was just strolling along the edge of the field as if it owned it.
“It was a pleasant surprise and really interesting to see it move.
“I had heard lots about the ‘Rutland panther’ but it was so interesting to see it with my own eyes.”
Philip then called Nigel Spencer, of Rutland Panther Watch which tracks big cat sightings, to inform him of what he had seen.
From Philip’s description, Nigel believes that the creature was a black leopard.
If you have seen any big cats you can report your sighting at www.bigcats.org.uk