Video: Big cat sightings in Huntingdonshire

A MYSTERIOUS feline reported to be stalking north-west Huntingdonshire has attracted the attention of a Cambridgeshire policeman. Rumours of a Fen Tiger have abounded for many years, but now wildlife officer Pc Paul Carter has begun mapping big cat sigh

A MYSTERIOUS feline reported to be stalking north-west Huntingdonshire has attracted the attention of a Cambridgeshire policeman.

Rumours of a 'Fen Tiger' have abounded for many years, but now wildlife officer Pc Paul Carter has begun mapping big cat sightings in the county.

There have been five reported sightings already this year, with the most activity reported in the area west of the A1, from Sawtry to the county border.

Pc Carter said: "I have been fascinated by the possible existence of these creatures for many years and I have heard many stories from locals about big cats prowling our countryside.

"I have been plotting the sightings on a map and monitoring the activity - it would be wonderful to prove or disprove their existence in Cambridgeshire once and for all."

The majority of reports to police come from farmers who say they have had cattle and sheep attacked by a cat-like creature.

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Descriptions of the beasts vary from a large black panther-like cat to a smaller brown lynx-type animal.

Critics say sightings may in fact be variations of other animals known to exist in the wild, such as foxes, stray dogs or smaller, feral cats.

Pc Carter said: "I am sure there must have been more sightings than those which have been reported to the police.

"It is not necessarily something people would call us to report."

When The Hunts Post canvassed the parishes in the area west of the A1, few people had heard of any reported big cat sightings.

"The biggest cat I've ever seen round here is our own moggy," said Andrew Alexander, chairman of the Giddings parish council. "I wonder if the majority of these sightings happen on a Friday or Saturday night outside pubs."

While the A1 corridor is reputed to be a hotspot for big cats, sightings in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire are also common.

Last week, a teenager from Haddenham claimed to have spotted a dark creature late at night, while a couple in Isleham reported seeing a creature with a long tail on August 26.

To report a big cat sighting, e-mail paul.carter@cambs.pnn.police.uk