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Have you seen the Lindsey Leopard?
Eyes.Have you seen a big cat in Lincolnshire? Let us know if you have and we'll add it to our sightings list.
A leopards eyes at night
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Listen to what Brian Murphy from The Scottish Big Cat Society has to say about big cats in Lincolnshire and the UK here >>

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HAVE YOUR SAY

Have you seen the Lindsey Leopard? Or have you managed to take a picture of it?

Have your say, e-mail lincolnshire@bbc.co.uk

SEE ALSO
 

If you have a sighting tell us about here >>

Sometime last year I was with two of my friends and one of the them said, "Come look at this", and two of us looked over a fence and I said, "What, there is nothing there", but then a huge black cat got up from near a log and started jogging towards us and we ran away fast as we could it had pointed ears and big bright yellow eyes only two of us saw the cat my third friend was further down the lane towards the road.
Anonymous

Hi,
I was walking from my garage to the front door one dark night. As I approached the not very well lit, front door area, a big black cat walked in front of me.
It was bigger than any cat I have ever seen and unnerved me.
I have not seen it since, But then again, I avoid going to the garage at night now!!
Just thought you should know.
Les Woods of Lincoln

I was driving from Market Rasen, Lincs to Baldock, Herts last night, 8th June. At 11.00pm as I was driving south on the A15 between Lincoln and Sleaford, near Cranwell, an animal crossed the road in front of me (going East). I was travelling at 60 mph (it was close enough for me to lift off the throttle, but not enough to brake) so I would put the animal as around 50 yards in front of me; sufficiently close and for long enough to make a reasonable observation. Ambient temperature was 12 degrees C.

The animal was bigger than a fox (I saw several last night). I would estimate it's size as 60cm long and 45cm high. In the car headlights it seemed to be sandy coloured with evidence of striping - more tabby cat than tiger. This is what surprised me as I've never seen a domestic cat that big!

What I found remarkable was it's gait; was trotting rather than walking with an easy long, low slung step with shoulders and hips slightly above the level if its back. On reflection, I believe what I saw was a Lynx.
Tony Clarke

On my way into work one night I saw what I can only describe as a very large black cat, roughly the size of a labrador. I thought at first it was a dog, until it got up and proceeded to run very fast across the grass towards a bush.
I work at St Georges Hospital and the sighting was actually in the hospital grounds near the old day centre, just before Carholme Court.

On speaking to several people about it, I have since learned there have been dismembered frogs found on the west commen down long leys road and previous sightings in this area.

I am not a sensationalist or prone to flights of fancy and have tried to reason with myself, but i know what I saw.

Simone

After talking with my friend on tuesday am of what he saw spured me into further research into big cat sightings ,thus coming across your website.

He did'nt want to report it as folk would think he was loosing his marbles. On a Monday evening in February at aprox 5.30 pm my friend was travelling home from work along the A159 from Scuthorpe to Gainsbrough when just entering Laughton Forest he slowed down behind a tractor turning off, something caught his eye.

Glancing right into the woods just a few yards in he saw quite clearly what was a large black cat stalking something. About the size of a black labrador but with cat like features and a long tail.

Driving on not sure what he saw he turned round for another look. It was still there but walking off into the woods. No longer being able to see it he set off to turn round and go home again only as approching the same spot it casually wandered across the road in front of him and disappered into the trees.

Now most tales can be taken with a pinch of salt, but I've known this man for many years and he is as honest as your own granny. What with so many sightings who's to doubt them.

This dragged up conversation with a good friend about the time approx a year and a half ago he called me on his mobile! - Quote,"Guess what I'm looking at mate and you won't belive me. He then proceeded to describe this big black puma stalking up the river bank of the Ancholme, near to where the M180 crosses the river.

On advising him it might not be a good idea to follow it we met up that night with other friends disscussing whether it was what he saw. Unfortunatly pub talk was as far as this went and was never reported to any one.

I knew of someone who had seen a big cat on the wolds near Caistor around the mid 90's,and it made the local paper, but the question that always puzzled us was, how far do these cats travel around? [don't recall people seeing them use the local bus routes!!!] or is there rather a lot more of these out there than people think?

David

Me and two of my mates saw a large black creature moving across the railway lines. We watched it for about 5 minutes and turned our backs for under a minute and it had gone. This all happened in Heighington and it could not have gotten far because there was an 8ft fence with gardens on one side and a road on the other. Date of sighting 20th November.
Daniel and Jack

Today 16th October 2003 I was Visiting Tattershall Castle with My Wife And Son. While walking around the Grounds I saw a large Black Cat. I thought these sightings were fictitious until now. Looking across the road to the far end of the adjacent field was a large Black cat. It certainly was not a domestic cat as it was far too big. It followed the field boundary heading towards the military houses. This would have been about 3.45. Clear skies with excellent visibility. Wife and son saw it too Just wish I had had my binoculars with me to put my mind at rest, that is always the way though isn't it.
Gerald

My brother says he saw this animal in the village of Fiskerton near Lincoln behind a fence in a field and later on it was in the newspaper (The Lincolnshire Echo) that a woman had been walking her dog when she saw it on the aerodrome just behind Fiskerton. I think this may be the same one.
Alice Boardman

Just reading the website and found there were people claiming to have seen big cat like animals roaming our area, it triggered off what i saw when i was a school boy back in 1994/5 traveling to Kirton Lindsey from Gainsborough at around 08.30 while i was looking out the window of the cold bus and could not beleive what i was seeing, i can only describe as a puma type cat (jet black) running across a field at a tremendous speed. It was just as you leave Blyton to kirton on your left hand side but before the race track! STRANGE.
Barry

At around 3:00pm i was driving to pick my children up from school when all of a sudden i saw an animal which was far too big to be a cat but looked nothing like a dog. It was a tabby kind of colour and it wasn't running but leaping accross the school field, i wasn't the only one to notice this incident but a couple of people in a tennis courts nearby stopped and looked, so when i got home i told my children about this incident, and my oldest daughter looked it up on your website, and found out i was the only person to see something like the missing Lindsey Leopard.
Vicky

I can’t believe I’m actually telling you this because I don’t really believe in this big cat thing! Last Saturday June 5th, 2004 we were returning to Saltfleetby from a day trip to Skegness, on the way back to our caravan, somewhere between Theddlethorpe and Saltfleetby I witnessed what I can only describe as a big black cat, it was running through a field of cows at speed, the animal was noticeably long but low to the ground, the speed at which it ran was incredible. I screamed “there is a black cat, nobody believed me but my daughter turned round and saw it as well. My husband did’nt (wouldn’t) stop saying I must be mad. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced, were there any other sightings that day or am I truly insane.
Lorna

My husband, two sons and myself were travelling through Irnham about 3 miles from where we live towing a horse box with cattle in. As we approached the T junction in Irnham, I looked across the road and i said look at that cat, do you think its the panther. We stopped at the road junction and all looked across the road, and agreed that it was a very big black cat, judging by the size, etc. and the length of tail it was definitely a panther type animal. It was low down in the grass stalking two cock pheasants, its stopped and looked straight at us, it was a wonderful sight.
But unfortunately the cattle in the horse box started to mess about and it startled the cat, which turned and ran back to the spinney near by. After mentioning this to someone that we had seen it, they told us that a lot of lambs had gone missing and someone had lost a foal in a neighbouring village.
Jane

On Saturday April 17th myself, my husband and my parents, were heading for the Bluebell Inn at Tattershall Thorpe (I stress, the sighting took place BEFOREHAND!) when my/our attention was caught by a large black cat shape
moving slowly across a field next to the road. It was approxamatley 200 yards away from the road, the crop was possibly 12 to 14 inches high and the head, back and upper legs of the animal were clearly visible from our car, it appeared to be hunting/prowling from its stance. Having discussed what we saw we have all come to the conclusion that because of the shape and movement the creature could not have been anything but a large cat, comparable in size to a large greyhound, although stockier, and moving in a catlike manner. The weather was fine and sunny and the visibility was
excellent. Having looked at the other sightings on your website I am now convinced that there is a large black cat prowling in the Tattershall/Conningsby area, and that we were fortunate enough to see it!
Helen

I have a friend who lives in, The Old Woods in skellingthorpe at Lincoln. We were arranging a sleep over at her house with some other mates and a few of us considered sleeping in the tents when we said that she froze up and started to go on about that it is to dangerous and we dont know what is out there. We asked her what was out there, at first she was reluctant to tell us. She said she heard her ducks and chickens making a lot of noise, so she went out have a look and she just froze at the door and could not move, she said there was a big cat trying to get the birds, after it went she told her brother but he did not believe her until a few weeks later he saw it in the woods and at night time he heard it scream.
Laura

My wife was walking our dog yesterday morning, 28/3/04, near our home in Aslackby. She is certain that she clearly saw a large black cat on the other side of a field (too big for a domestic feline). She believes it was a panther.

I was interested to note that there was a report in our local newspaper (stamford mercury) last week of a sighting of a large cat near Hacconby, a few miles south of Aslackby.
Andrew Perks

Driving back from Tattershall one night around Christmas I think. I saw what did have the appearance to be a bigger then average cat like animal, as it loped across the road just beyond the Gibbet Nook service station. I have allways been a bit dubious about 'big cat' sightings before,but something about this 'cat' did seem different from a domestic cat both in size and how it moved.So much so I mentioned it to my Friend next Time I was in Tattershall.
Then a couple of weeks later she brought to my attention the report of the lady in Conningsby seeing the Big Cat in her garden.
So it was either a coincidence or maybe I did see this elusive 'big cat' after all.
So heres hoping someone can put me out me misery soon and proves it does exist!
Tony Briggs

I was browsing on the web and saw your site about big cats in the wild in Britain. I was lucky enough to see a Wild Cat in Scotland some years ago. I read an item in the paper a couple of years ago about big cats and the reporter quoted a naturalist saying that although the Lynx was supposed to be extinct in Britain some may still be living in the wild. And on the subject of Wild Cats, another naturalist said that although they're only supposed to exist in Scotland some may be living in the wild in England, and as one person mentioned seeing a large tabby this may have been a Wild Cat.
Richard Elwell

I have just been running through Willingham Woods, and went off on one of the side trails rarely used by the public , When i came upon a large black cat at the end of the trail. I stopped and stood looking at it for a few seconds, before it turned and ran off into the trees. This happened at about 5-30 pm.
Paul Melchers

I turned left off Whisby road late one evening, driving on the relief road toward the new junction at South Hykeham. I very nearly lost control of the car as a huge tabby type cat ran out into road, crossing left to right side of the road. I will never foget what I saw ! I always thought the story was cranky till then. The size and markings of the animal were incredible.
Nina

Ive spent years following this particular subject ever since I first read of a sighting in Market Raisen. I became interested when someone came to the house one day and commented on a picture Id just painted of a mountain lion. The visitor explained that whilst walking a dog in the wolds he had seen an animal resembling the one in the picture walking some distance in front, before moving through a hedge. I have since heard of other sightings usually described as black cats, however one report does stay in mind of a "white cat", sighted a few years ago out at Saxilby. Could this be the same cat? Also I recall a radio lincolnshire presenter sighting a black cat on his way to work one morning near Sturton by Stow. It should be of little surprise that there may be large cats roaming the countryside. You would expect they would stick out, however Ive spent weeks in American cougar country and never seen one as have people that live a lifetime out there. Whilst on holiday some years ago in Turo, Cornwall I got into a conversation with the owner of a gift shop. This guy told me of someone he knew use to keep cougars/mountain lions and he admitted releasing them when the dangerous animals act was bought in as law. Could these be the same ones that are sighted in the china clay pits in Cornwall? There's little doubt now that big cats are in the UK. The police take such sightings very seriously. However in order to catch one,(note one was caught in scotland and given to Edinburgh zoo, about 1980), you're going to have to track them with dogs and tree them. A very expensive and time consuming business. Hopefully this isn't some kind of hoax being played on everyone by someone that secretly still owns a big cat. The only pure white cats I know of are those white tigers recently featured in the news for attacking one of the Vegas strip magicians. Those being tigers they of course have strips. Ive heard and seen melinistic deficiant species, however pure white is a new one on me.
David Smith

We had footage taken in December of last year in the Scottish Borders of a very large white cat, in fact sightings of white cats are on the increase and have been reported from Cornwall to the Borders in recent years. One report two weeks ago in Melrose had a very large white cat running with a large black cat, the latter which the witness identified as a black leopard (panther) from photographs that I showed her. I personally have no idea what these white cats are, very large domestics or something different but I will certainly take the time and effort to visit Mr. Speake next week to take a closer look at the area and see what we can find out. We have enough problems with the mystery black cats that do not fit. There is no such thing as black pumas and a leopard usually has one black cub to every three or four spotted leopards, yet we have very little in way of reports regarding spotted leopards, something there just does not ring true. These black cats really are the mystery animals (now the white ones) which make up around 65% of the reports in Scotland. Leopards a plenty! black ones, but no spotted leopards. Large jet-black cats that scream like a puma! Black leopards with large white cats! These are the real mystery cats and no explanation in my view has satisfactorily explained them to date. As I am going down to the area next week from Scotland to visit Mr. Speake I would appreciate anyone in the area who has seen this white animal, or indeed any large unidentified creature to contact me if they would be so kind, (personal details would not be divulged). Also farmers who feel they may have lost livestock in a way different to the usual kills by dogs and UK indigenous animals. www.scottishbigcats.co.uk
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Mark Fraser The Scottish Big Cat Society

My name is Simon Bainbridge and I am the Lincolnshire representative for the British Big Cat Society. The society was established to identify and protect big cats roaming the British countryside. My own encounter with a big cat came in one of Lincolnshire's "hotspots", Laughton woods near Gainsborough. In the summer of 1998 I was walking my dog in the woods on a clear day when at a distance of less than 100 yards I witnessed a puma cross the forest ride in front of me. I would like to hear from anyone who wishes to report a big cat sighting in Lincolnshire and all reports will be treated with confidence. Check out the British Big Cat Societies website at www.britishbigcats.org/
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Simon Bainbridge

We saw what we believe to be a panther tonight (31st july, 7.30pm) for the second time. our house overlooks a field and we saw it skulking at the far end of the field about a year and a half ago. when we saw it tonight we checked in the binoculars. i then grabbed my camera & ran outside. it started to head for the bushes but i managed to take 2 photos of it.
Anna Winfield

I would like to report a sighting of a big black cat. I saw the cat on19th april 2003 it was stalking somthing on the edge of a dyke the cat was about 4ft long and its tail was about 3ft the cat was walking towards the dyke across a field as we drove up a road towards Sleaford, Lincolnshire we had just passed a village sign for Hecklton or grt Hecklton my daughter saw the cat clearly and the nearest we drove passed it was about 30 meters from the cat the time was 11.45am approx. The village sign we passed was Heck somthing i have tried to find out exactly were we were but have not yet established it yet.
Naomi Paddison

i saw a very big cat around 8 years ago at holtonleclay it was 6 in the morning it came from the houses across the road and dissapeared across the old runway i have not told anyone in case they think im some looney i used that road often in the early morning but only saw it the once but it was a very very large cat of some kind
Susan from Asterby

We have been working with the police and agencies recording sightings of the 3 big cats i.e panthers (black leopards) pumas and Lynx in Rutland and Leicestershire for over 8 years, long before it was accepted to be involved with!! and have over a thousand sightings now for the two counties and its borders. Some are so close and from such reliable witnesses, such as zoo keepers and big cat trackers, that we sometimes even get the sex as well as the breed of cat recorded. There are at least 8 big cats in our area alone and i dont think Lincs is any different to the other counties that have at least a couple of each breed. Plenty of rabbits foxes and dustbins to get easy food from We are particularly interested in any sightings form bourne and the depings / stamford as these cats dont respect borders and wander in and out all the time Sightings can be reported in confidence on www.bigcats.org.uk
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Nigel Spencer from Rutland and Leics panther watch

i believe i saw (black panther) type of large cat crossing the road approx 70 miles from norwich near new roundabout where there is a macdonalds aswell on the A17 not sure exactly of position ...this was at 4.30 am 0n sat 11 jan i was travelling towards nottingham when i put my headlights on full beam to see a large black object at side of road i was 100 meters away in my car. the animal crossed in front of me and jumped down into a ditch. the main point i noticed was how the animal moved very graceful and quite slowly ,defintely not a fox or cat, there was no cats eye reflection. i have travelled many years at night and seen animals cross in front of me. i am convinced the way the animal moved , not what it looked like as it was dark and the animal bieng black. that it must be some kind of large cat. this is the first time i have seen anything like this. not seen ufos ghosts etc.... i hope you can list this sighting to the realvent people.
Tony from Norwich

The big brown cat has been seen by several people in the field behind The Rising Sun Public House, Stickney.
Marian

I read with interest your article about big cats in the south of the county and thought you might like to hear about the various sightings in a triangle between Bourne,Stamford and Grantham.

A local businessman was walking his dogs on the outskirts of Stamford last year when both animals stopped dead in their tracks at the sight of a large cat which made off into nearby fields without any apparent urgency.
The creature was estimated to be at least twice the size of even the largest
domestic tabby.

On the old railway line which used to run from Melton Mowbray through Bourne and on to the Norfolk coast their have been several sightings by local farmers who use the track for access of a large feline creature.

This creature is known locally as the 'Manthorpe Puma' and has also been
spotted by a farmers daughter in the village of Manthorpe. Indeed my wife and I who live in the same village heard what sounded like a very large cat climb up our next door neighbours fence and spring noisily from a 8 garden gate foot with such force that we at first thought we had been visited by
human intruders trying the latch.

Gary Anderson

No sighting to prove contact, but while surveying farmland in the Wispington area this Summer a set of pugmarks 4" wide were found at the roadside between Waddingworth and Wispington near a large wooded area.

I am not a cat expert, but these prints were similar to leopard tracks I have seen in Africa.

Local farmers reported losses of sheep in the area but had assumed it the work of dogs.

I wonder ???
David Tovey
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