Jogger spots ‘big cat’ on the loose in Wakefield


Jeff Johnson was heading for a run, driving near Heath Common when something caught his eye.

Mr Johnson, from Normanton, said: ‘I just saw something jet black, I was like ‘what the hell is this?

“When I looked again I thought it was huge and pulled into a parking lot near a farmer’s gate.

Jeff Johnson thinks this photo shows a big cat he spotted at Heath Common.

“To me, that was definitely not a normal dog or cat. I’ve heard people see big cats, but that’s not something I’ve ever seen before.”

Mr Johnson said that from the side of the road, the animal’s body appeared to reach just below the waist, with the head protruding above.

He said he was about 200 yards from the creature.

“I whistled to try to lure him in,” he said.

“He looked but he just stood still. It was there for about ten minutes.

“I thought at first I wanted to get closer and then I was like ‘no, it could be quite dangerous’. I didn’t know if I would be able to come back if I got to the fence if I drew His attention.

And it’s not the first time people think they’ve seen felines roaming the neighborhood.

A panther-like animal was spotted wandering the countryside twice in a month in September 2016.

And in August of the same year, video footage showing a large black cat was taken near the Redbeck Motel on Doncaster Road in Crofton.

There have been several reported sightings of the “Beast of Ossett”, which made national headlines in 2000. Observers compared it to a large black Irish wolfhound.

Three years later there was a report of a large black cat stalking the village of Wintersett.

There were also sightings of a panther or cougar like beast wandering between Alverthorpe and Ossett in 2006.

An animal, smaller than a Labrador but bigger than a cat, was spotted along a disused railway line between Wintersett and Newmillerdam in 2009.

And a “panther-like beast” was spotted wandering farmland in Notton in 2011.

Have you spotted any unusual wildlife in Wakefield? Email your photos to [email protected]

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