Henley Standard Property
HOME

Date:

Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
Driver spots big cat at roadside
Published 26/05/09



THE “wildcat of the Chilterns” has been spotted again.

The latest sighting was made by Nigel Spiers, who was driving to work early on Tuesday morning when he came across what he believes may have been a black panther.

He was in Greys Road just before Highlands Farm when he saw the creature sitting at the roadside.

Mr Spiers, 45, of Farm Road, Henley, said: “He was sitting down and just looking at me and didn’t seem at all bothered I was there. He just stood up, ducked his head and, with two loping strides, was through the hedge and into the field.”

He said the animal was about the size of a labrador.


“It was jet black,” said Mr Spiers. “I know my wildlife and it was not a dog. I am certain it was a big cat. It looked just like a panther. It had the most beautiful tail, which was like that of a cheetah, designed to help balance when running.”

Mr Spiers, a sash window renovator, said the animal could have been hunting rabbits.

He added: “I was aware that big cats like this had been seen before. My boss saw one once so I was not that surprised.”

There has been a catalogue of sightings of similar creatures in the area. In 1998, in the space of just a few months, there were reports of a panther-like animal in Goring, Stoke Row, Fawley, Ipsden and Woodcote.

In May 2001, one was spotted in Nuffield and in June 2005 a beige big cat was seen by a train driver near Wargrave station.

In the same month, the shopkeeper at Binfield Heath stores saw a big cat resembling a panther walking through the centre of the village and a woman spotted one a week earlier in Harpsden.

In September 2006, there were reports from Nettlebed and Sonning Eye, where an angler said the creature was larger than his 7st dog,

The last sighting before Tuesday’s was at Cookley Green when a large cat-like creature was seen jumping a stie by the B481.

Paul Westwood, who runs Big Cat Monitors, said South Oxfordshire was a hotspot for sightings.

“There has been quite a lot of activity in the area,” he said. “I am convinced these creatures are either panthers or black leopards.”

He advised anyone who came across a not to panic.

“Stand still and don’t run,” he said. “Avoid making eye contact and just slowly back away.”

Mr Westwood said it is possible the animals were kept in a private collection and had escaped.

There is no distinct species as black panther. The term is used to describe a number of wild black-coated cats, normally leopards or jaguars. They get their colour from excessive production of melanin and are normally found in the dense, tropical rain forests of south east Asia.

Published 26/05/09

MOST POPULAR
Barber shop vandalised
End of the line for Norman
Blind rower who fell from window sues owner
Darling the house is full of smoke...
Glass crashes onto street during high winds
Henley man found guilty of child rape
Study shows traffic impact of 450 new homes
Wrong type of weed killer destroys cricket wicket
LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
Legal bid to stop Goring train gantries
Pub owner loses appeal
Henley man found guilty of child rape
Townlands decision delayed for beds rethink
Blind rower's court claim upheld
Solicitor cycling 100 miles for charity
Teenagers arrested after barley field fire
Memorial service to be held for WWI Soldier
Brakspear Special on tap for festival
Green Flag for Mill Meadows
Hundreds attend HOPS though future uncertain
Thumbs up for Club to Pub swim
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
ADVERTISE WITH US
LATEST SPORTS HEADLINES
Cricket club's tenth anniversary summer ball
Towns' Regatta set to be biggest ever
Afridiís haul helps side get back on track
Watts wins U25 crown
Henley maintain top spot despite being held to draw at home by Slough
Top Videos
 
Most Popular
 
 
 
 
Higgs Group
HIGGS GROUP
Tel: 01491 419400
www.higgsgroup.co.uk
HENLEY PAGES
Tel: 01491 419419
www.henleypages.com
HIGGS PRINTING & DESIGN
Tel: 01491 419429
www.higgsprinting.co.uk
HIGGS OFFICE SUPPLIES
Tel: 01491 419499
www.higgsofficesupplies.co.uk
HENLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
Tel: 01491 419449
www.henleylife.co.uk
HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD.

Cookie Policy | Copyright and Terms | Competition Rules | Contact Us | Advertise with us | Site Map
© Higgs & Co (Printers) Limited 2013  |  Registered in England number 1418717