Does print belong to elusive panther?

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THE elusive Rutland panther may have been spotted again by a woman walking her dog.

Nicola Squires, of Main Road, Whissendine, was shocked when she saw a large animal running through fields between Pickwell and Northfield farm in Cold Overton.

It happened at about 4pm on Monday when Nicola was with her 10-year-old daughter Sefronia Robins. Nicola said: “I’ve heard stories about the Rutland panther before and I’ve never really thought anything of it, but I’ve got no explanation for what this animal could be.

“My daughter and I were both quite puzzled about what it was.

“It was very black and had a brown sheen and it ran off very quickly towards Northfield Farm.”

They later came across a set of large paw prints, which were about seven inches across.

She said: “We noticed the paw prints and they were still soft. There were quite a few prints but they were too large to be a dog or a fox. The claw marks went very deep.

“When I saw the prints, I was certainly spooked by it.”

Nicola said she will reconsider before walking through the field again with her daughter and six-year-old son Bailey Robins.