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North Wales 'big cat' in lockdown breach as it’s spotted on the prowl in Cheshire

Daily Post 14/01/2021 Jaymelouise Hudspith & Olivia Williams

A McDonald’s delivery driver believes he spotted a wild puma prowling around the River Dee.

Richard Evans took the images of what he described as an 'enormous big cat' yesterday (December 13) at around 3.15pm.

He was heading into Chester after delivering a McDonald’s order when he spotted the ‘cat’ from the A51 road near Barrel Well Hill and Mount Place reports Cheshire Live.

The fast food courier shared the images to the Facebook group, Puma Watch North Wales (PWNW) which has been set up to document sightings.

Posting in the group, Mr Evans described the ‘cat’ as “absolutely massive” and like ‘nothing’ he had ever seen before.

He said: “I was out on my bike coming back into town after delivering someone’s McDonald’s when I spotted an enormous big cat across the river on the meadows.

"I pulled over to take a picture and tried to shout to a dog walker nearby but they couldn’t hear me.

“It was prowling along the edge of the long grass then disappeared into the undergrowth. It was absolutely massive though, like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

Earlier this month more sightings were shared on PWNW.

The latest sighting was spotted on the A548 at Tanlan near Talacre in Flintshire at around 6.30pm on New Year's Eve.

This comes a week after two recent sightings 20 miles away in Pontybodkin, where a villager described seeing a "dog-sized" black cat.

And back in October last year, a man from Leeds set out on a solo hike to watch the sunrise on Snowdon when he claims to have come into close contact with wild puma.

This recent sighting was in an area known as Chester’s Meadows which acts as a floodplain for the River Dee and while surrounded by urban developments on three sides, they are contiguous with the fields and farmland south of the city.

Photo of a paw print taken by Sophie Van Neste at Rhiwlas, near Bangor © Sophie Van Neste Photo of a paw print taken by Sophie Van Neste at Rhiwlas, near Bangor

Officers from Cheshire Police's Rural Crime Team posted on Facebook after six livestock had died and four had been seriously injured and had to be put to sleep.

Chester Live reported that there is reason to believe the incident was not down to a canine, but to a "larger predator".

In a post on the Cheshire Police Rural Crime Team Facebook page, headed 'Sheep Mystery', an officer wrote: "The area has very little human interaction and at the moment the thought is very much on a larger predator and not as initially thought, a dog attack".

The post also added that "on speaking to the farmer they confirmed a sighting some years ago of a very large black cat type animal not a million miles from this location".

The post was later removed. Cheshire Police has not confirmed why but has not disputed the contents of the officer's post.

A spokesman said: "Police received a report at around 3pm on 30 December 2020 that a number of sheep had been killed at a farm in Macclesfield.

"Officers initially spoke with the farmer over the phone and later visited the site.

"The farmer had found that six sheep had died and that another four had sustained serious injuries. The sheep were later put down due to their injuries.

"It is not known what caused the injuries to the sheep and enquiries are ongoing."

On Saturday, officers from Cheshire Police's Rural Crime Team said they were investigating a new case of sheep killings, which had "extremely unusual elements".

Posting on social media, Cheshire Police's Rural Crime Team said officers attended the scene of a triple sheep killing in Marton, Salterswall in the Winsford district on Friday, January 8.

Police believe the attack occurred overnight between 9 pm on Thursday, January 7 to 8.30 am on Friday, January 8.

Officers are appealing for people to come forward with any information regarding the incident and to call via 101 and quote IML-890541 / PC Moss.

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