On Thursday 8th March 2012 at 7:30 pm approx, an experienced mountaineer, rambler, et al, was strolling on the North Downs area of Kent, not far from Blue Bell Hill when he heard a strange coughing noise coming from the pathway about 25 yards ahead. Thinking that someone was ill or there may have been a dog or sheep nearby the man pressed on. After walking a few more seconds, just 5 yards away in the undergrowth, he spotted an large black shape. There were no sheep in the area and the noise was unlike anything he had heard before in some thirty years of hiking. The man reached for a small torch but the animal was gone. The witness believed he'd seen a black leopard which had slinked off. The man, in the past, had been rather sceptical to such sightings, but used to the sounds of nature was convinced that the coughing came from a large cat. The black leopard is known for its deep sawing cough and bubbly, guttural growl. Sightings around Blue Bell Hill have been sporadic over the last few years although recently a jogger saw a big, black cat not far from the ancient stones known as Kits Coty House.
If anyone is interested in hearing the different sounds a leopard makes please follow this link: http://www.junglewalk.com/sound/leopard-sounds.htm
Also this week there been sightings of black leopard at Chartham Hatch, Wye and Sevenoaks and a lynx report also from the outskirts of Canterbury.