Thursday 9 December 2010

The 'beast' of Blue Bell Hill becomes 147th sighting of the year...

This year there have been almost 150 sightings of large, exotic cats reported to Kent Big Cat Research. On December 8th at 8:30 pm the so-called 'beast' of Blue Bell Hill became number 147. A male witness was hissed at by a large, dark-coloured cat, the size of a Labrador whilst walking in the village of Broomfield, near Leeds Castle. The head torch of the man picked up two bright yellowy-green eyes and as he approached an animal hissed at him from the undergrowth and then bolted through the woods. The hiss of a black leopard is emitted to ward of those who have stepped too close. Whether this is the same individual cat seen around Bearsted and Thurnham remains to be seen, but the area of the sighting is only a few miles also from Blue Bell Hill which in 1998 was given it's beastly headline by the Kent Today newspaper. In 2000, Neil Arnold, who runs Kent Big Cat Research observed a black leopard on two occasions a few miles from Blue Bell Hill, and in 2008 saw another melanistic leopard. The area is rich in folklore, as is the village of Leeds which for many years has harboured a legend of a spectral black dog. Whilst there is no connection between so-called phantom hellhounds and melanistic leopards, researchers believe that it adds to the mystery.

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