Cyclists report sighting of the Rutland panther

A black panther
A black panther
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A pair of cyclists believe they spotted the elusive Rutland panther while out for a ride yesterday evening.

Tim Bateman and son Harry, 16, were on the road between Teigh and Market Overton when they saw the mysterious beast prowling in a field.

It was black, had a long tail and was seen chasing a pheasant at great speed through long grass.

Tim, who lives in Market Overton, said: “At first I thought it could be a deer, or perhaps a dog, but it was so fast and agile I’m convinced it was the Rutland panther.

“It ran like a cheetah, at great speed. We watched it for two or three minutes, but it was too far away to get a photograph.

“I have heard the Rutland panther rumours several times over the years and have always been a bit sceptical, but now I’ve changed my mind.

“Harry and I are both convinced we saw it.”

Rumours of a black panther living wild in the fields of Rutland first began in the 1990s and many apparent sightings have been reported since then.

Did you see the Rutland panther at the weekend? Email smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk