Friday 17 May 2013

Black leopard sighting at Staplehurst

Email received 17th May 2013: 'Found your blog on the internet this afternoon.  I saw a big black cat in a field alongside the A229 about two miles below Staplehurst, at about 1pm today.  We were in the car, my husband driving, so he didn't see it, and there was nowhere to park at that particular spot to go back and look.  It took me a while to get the words out - I have never seen anything like this before in the fields around here, although I do not dispute that they are around.

There is a lot of woodland around this specific area, and a free-range chicken farm just down the road on the other side.  The field is on the left of the A229 if you are traveling south, Grandshore Lane borders the bottom edge of the field, but I saw the cat at the top end of the field, just on the edge of the crops and about 12 feet out from the hedge/woodland.  It was about the size of a labrador, and was moving slow, quite low to the ground (a lazy loping movement) towards the road.  Smooth coated, with a long thick rope-like tail and square-ish head.  Definitely a cat, not a dog.  I have domestic cats myself, even quite a "big" cat as domestics go, but this was definitely not a domestic cat.

Sorry I cannot provide any proof - or corroboration - but there really was nowhere safe to stop and even so it may well have slunk into the woods and disappeared by the time we doubled back.

Will keep a better look out in future!'

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