"Big cat" sighting near Dursley stuns mum and daughter
A MUM and her young daughter were stunned to see a "big cat" freeze in front of them and then dash off along a lane near Dursley.
She said the brown cat-like creature appeared to have been taken by surprise by her car and they saw it for long enough to realise it wasn't any other animal.
"It must have been a 10 second sighting, my daughter said "that's a cat" – she should not believe it either," said the woman, who did not wish to be identified.
"I haven't seen one before and I didn't believe in them but I do now."
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With her eight-year-old daughter, she was heading along Woodend Lane near the M5 motorway bridge, between Cam and the A38, just after 6pm on Thursday, February 28.
Darkness was drawing in.
"It charged from the side, and initially I thought it was a fox or a dog. But it was big, and the way it ran... it glided, it didn't bob up and down," she said.
"It's tail was long and in the air pointing upwards, it had a medium sized head for the size of it's body, with small ears."
She reported the sighting to Gloucestershire big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge, who has had dozens of suspected big cat encounters reported to him, particularly after deer kills in Woodchester and Dursley last year.
Although DNA tests revealed no sign of big cat kills, it sparked massive interest in the subject, and a video of what appeared to be a large black animal running around in fields near Stroud attracted national headlines.
"I have seen Frank Tunbridge's sightings in the paper and I have to say I was sceptical," she said. "But I know what I saw."