On Saturday 25th Feb' at 10:30 pm a couple were travelling on the New Romney to Ivychurch road when they were stunned to see a black cat - about 2ft 6" long, with a long tail, very stocky in appearance, playfully hunting a rabbit by the roadside. According to the witness, "The animal took a swipe at the rabbit with its paw but missed it and then the animal chased its prey but couldn't catch it and then we lost sight of the animal.We drove back but couldn't see it. It was definitely a leopard cub as we went home and looked on the internet - it was chunky and not a domestic cat"
The interesting thing about the incident is the fact that the witnesses had seen a similar animal before - in November 2011, but much, much larger. The witness commented, "In November I was driving on the A2070 between Hamstreet and Brenzett when the car headlights picked up the bright green eyes of an animal standing in the road. As I neared the animal seemed to freeze and it was huge. It had a very long, curving tail and was jet black and it leapt into the undergrowth."
Over the last fifteen years or so there have been numerous sightings of large, black cats around Romney Marsh and Ashford, these are hot areas of activity. In the last few months there have been several reports near Hamstreet and also towards Kingsnorth where six months ago two leopard cubs were seen crossing a road. Just before Christmas a female witness observed a black leopard in broad daylight whilst walking her dog and then found several sheep carcasses stashed in a reed bed.