Father and son, 5, startled by two big cats near Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 16:59 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 21 March 2017

Adult male cougar snarling with mouth open and teeth bared - Getty Images/iStock photo.

Adult male cougar snarling with mouth open and teeth bared - Getty Images/iStock photo.


A startled walker has told of his encounters with two mysterious big cats in Times Territory.

The 37-year-old man, who wished to remain anonymous, was on a customary evening walk around Tewin with his five-year-old son about six weeks ago when the toddler excitedly pointed into the distance and asked what it was he could see.

Standing in the open field about 400 metres away were two large “dusty, sandy coloured” big cats, coming to just below waist height, with long, dark tails.

Startled, the observer said did not know what they were, but was “100 per cent” sure they were big cats from their movements.

He said: “It was getting dark but you could see that it was something just not natural to the area.”

Mentioning it to his wife at home, but thinking little else of the sighting, the man was walking the same route on his own about two weeks afterwards, when he saw them again.

This time, it was light, and they were only 200 metres away.

He said: “They both stopped and looked, and then trotted away. I was shocked, thinking, ‘what the hell have I just seen?’”

“They looked strange, with a bulbous face, this long snout, and big long tail - like a lion but not like a lion, but definitely a cat - you could tell that just by the way it was moving, like a domestic cat would.”

The man did not feel as though he was in any danger and believed they were more scared of him than he was of them.

In January this year two staff members at Oaklands College in St Albans saw a similar large sandy-coloured cat with a long tail on campus on Hatfield Road,

A big black cat was spotted near Luton Airport in October last year and last week a driver thought he saw a panther bounding through fields in Wheathampstead. .

The Cat Survival Trust founder, Terry Moore, who looks after wild cat species on a 12-acre site in Welwyn, said a puma had been seen in the area, and a black leopard came to this district until 2014.

In the past five years, Herts Police have received about 30 reports big cats seen in and near the Welwyn Hatfield borough – they advise a safe distance is kept and it is reported on 101.

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