‘Puma’ spotted in Welwyn

SHOCKED cricketers were left bowled over when they spotted a big cat prowling the boundary rope before their latest match.

The unexpected spectator, thought to be a puma, was seen by half a dozen members of WGC Cricket Club’s fourth team as they waited to start their match against Little Berkhamsted Sahibs on Saturday.

The players were in the pavilion at The Playing Fields, in Ottway Walk, Welwyn, when they noticed the cat in the distance.

Batsman Kevin Hyatt, 49, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he rushed out into the rain along with some team-mates to get a closer look at the “sandy-coloured” feline.

“It didn’t look like a domestic cat it was far too big,” he said.

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“We walked out to the wicket to get a closer view. It turned and looked at us before disappearing into the undergrowth.”

Kevin, of Wilkins Grove, WGC, added: “I didn’t have my camera with me and I’m gutted.

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“I’ve been waiting to take a picture of one of these for years.”

Wicketkeeper Chris Price also saw the creature and is convinced it was not a domestic cat, a fox or a dog.

Chris, 28, said: “There was no bushy tail and it didn’t move like a dog.

“It really stood out from the green hedge on the edge of the boundary.”

Big cat expert Terry Moore said the animal was likely to be a puma.

Terry, who founded The Cat Survival Trust in Welwyn, said: “This animal has been seen by a number of people, including people of zoological backgrounds who would not make a mistake identifying it.

“It ties in with reports of three pumas being released in Northaw Great Wood near Cuffley.”

Have you seen the puma? Call Chris Richards on 01707 384181 or email him at chris.richards@whtimes.co.uk

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