Big cat is back in Gloucestershire believes tracker Frank Tunbridge
THE big cat prowling the Five Valleys is back, believes tracker Frank Tunbridge, after it jumped out of a tree and frightened a woman who's seen it twice before.
The startled woman came face-to-face with the black, puma-like creature in the Golden Valley near Chalford, said Mr Tunbridge.
The sighting was only a few miles from where video footage of a suspected big cat was taken. That came to light earlier this year after suspected big cat deer kills in Woodchester and Dursley were assessed to have no feline DNA evidence.
Mr Tunbridge explained what the woman had told him.
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"Her daughter went out in the field not far from where they live and their dog suddenly shot under the fence into a rough area," he said. "Suddenly the daughter thought she saw a black dog come out the other end. The animal went straight up the nearest tree – the girl thought it was a cat.
"It went to the end of the bough and bent it over."
The girl ran home, terrified on Sunday, November 18 – then her mum saw it.
She went back and suddenly it climbed down the tree and jumped out in front of her, Mr Tunbridge said.
"It looked at her and as she was on her own, she ran back.
"She was 20 yards away. It was black, with a small head and a long, thin bushy tail."
No trace of footprints or droppings has been found.
"There is less small prey around now, so the animal may have been out hunting, or looking for somewhere to lay up," said Mr Tunbridge.
â Have you seen a big cat, or found an animal which may have been killed by one? Call The Citizen newsdesk on 01452 698 821. Mr Tunbridge records all suspected sightings in and around Gloucestershire, and he can be reached on 07711 476 715.