THREE pals on a night fishing trip claim they were terrified to realise they were being stalked by a puma.
What looked like a jungle big cat was sitting in grassy dunes metres from where Paul Wilson, Paul Owen and Patrick Owen parked.
Paul Wilson, who spotted the beast in car headlights at Gimblet Rock in Pwllheli, North Wales, said it was “at least the size of a golden retriever”.
He added: “At first, we thought it was a dog of medium to large size sat watching us at approximately 20 metres away.
“It was sat amongst the dune grass which was on a slope going upwards away from us. I walked a few metres towards it whilst my friend turned his headlights on to illuminate it more.
“We all then realised that it was not a dog but a very large cat that then stood up, turned and loped away from us turning its head to look back.
“We didn’t see it again. The cat was as big as a golden retriever.”
The trio reported last month’s sighting to Puma Watch North Wales.
The group suggests that reduced human activity during the pandemic has encouraged big cats to roam from the hills into more populated areas.
The beasts are mostly spotted in Snowdonia and the Clwydian hills, but are being seen in more urban areas. A recent BBC study collated more than 100 big cat sightings in 18 months across North and Mid Wales.
One theory is that there are colonies of pumas across the UK, descended from exotic pets which escaped from collections or were deliberately released in the 1970s when they became too much for owners.
Puma Watch claims a black panther was spotted hunting for rabbits and birds in dunes at Prestatyn beach — 65 miles from Pwllheli.
Last year, a similar animal was spotted on the golf course at nearby Rhyl. The Welsh government recently said it will take steps to investigate big cat sightings.
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Source: The Sun