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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Is there a big cat on the loose near Carlisle?

A jogger at Rockcliffe, near Carlisle, has spotted a large black animal that he believes was a wild cat.

Mario Pellegrino photo
Mario Pellegrino

Mario Pellegrino, who lives nearby, was running from Rockcliffe towards Rockcliffe Cross about 4.30pm on Friday when he saw the creature close to Castletown House.

He said: “It was about 200 metres away, walking slowly towards to me.

“I thought it was a dog initially. It was coming straight at me. Then it went off the road into bushes.

“When I saw it side on, I realised it wasn’t a dog but had the characteristics of a cat only much bigger. It was 80 to 90 centimetres high.

“I’ve heard stories about big cats but never believed them.

“Now I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”

Mr Pellegrino, 35, a computer draughtsman with CAD Works at Rockcliffe, turned back.

He said: “I stopped running. I’ve heard stories about people being attacked.”

He has reported the encounter on a web site that monitors sightings.

The British Big Cats Society claims there have been as many as 2,000 big-cat sightings in a single year.

The South West is a hot-spot, followed by Scotland.

Sixty per cent of reports describe black cats similar to the one seen by Mr Pellegrino.

Official figures from Natural England are much lower.

It lists more than 100 sightings of exotic, non-native and unidentified animals in England since 2005, of which only 38 were “big cats”.

Have your say

BE Just and fear big Cats... Get some proper brave terriers in the borders. USA News that a 17Ib Jack Russell Dog Chases Mountain Lion up a tree which was later legally shot as threat to folks and one small fearless dog.

Posted by Roy on 15 November 2010 at 23:02

TG 6th nov - I live near to where the jogger was meant to have seen the cat, not Kingmoor, and round here there are not as many rabbits.

Posted by San on 10 November 2010 at 16:15

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