A MAN has revealed that he spotted a mysterious big cat in the countryside near his home in Herefordshire.

Chris Taylor spotted what appeared to be a large black cat at Hyde Ash near Leominster.

He saw the "massive" creature through his binoculars, but it disappeared before he could get any closer. 

Mr Taylor told the Hereford Times: "We have seen a big cat about the size of a labrador in a field by ours at Hyde Ash about three miles out of Leominster.

"We saw what we initially thought was a deer as we see them quite a bit. Then we thought it was a big labrador.

"So I got my binoculars and it was moving like a cat and had a massive long tail curled up at the end. It was about two feet off the floor, completely black and about the length of an Alsation. I went out to try and get my eyes on it again but it had gone.

"I've heard people in the area talking about it but I didn't believe it until I saw that. It couldn't have been anything else."

There have been numerous reported sightings of big cats across the Herefordshire countryside over the years.

A wave of sightings were reported during the late 1990s, with famous Herefordshire cases including the Woolhope Wildcat and the Herefordshire Phantom Feline, also known as "Big Puss".

Many of the sightings have been in north Herefordshire and the Woolhope area, as well as strong evidence pointing to the presence of a big cat in Pembridge, but other sightings have been reported in the south of the county.


Sightings dropped off during the 2000s, with fewer reports of big cats. But they did not stop completely, with Hereford man Steve Hall reporting a sighting of a feline-like creature, about two feet tall, in December 2009. Another hint to the presence of big cats came just a week later, when Pauline Mannion said four of her sheep had been killed in suspicious circumstances.

More injuries were reported in July 2010, when Rachel Baugh's horse was left with a deep wound and scratches likely caused by a big cat. Trail marks were also spotted near the stables.

And in July 2014, a mysterious big cat was spotted by Debbie Smithers, who was travelling from Whitecross to St Michael's Hospice when she came across what she described as a "large, dark cat" on Lumber Lane near Lugwardine.

Have you spotted a big cat in Herefordshire? Email bridie.adams@newsquest.co.uk