Essex dog walker comes across a Panther
Tom Pitt, 38, was out walking his pooch in Hatfield Park, located on the border between Hertfordshire and Essex, when he spotted the dangerous animal in the distance.
Mr Pitt, who lives in Hatfield, initially thought it was a large domestic cat before approaching it, only for the beat to growl and bare its teeth at him.
Mr Pitt said: “I was walking my dog there which is what I normally do.
“I was near the Essendon end of the park which is a lot quieter than the rest of the park.”
He added: “I think it was my dog who noticed first. He kind of looked in that direction and so I looked, and it was a big black cat. It looked like a domestic cat but much bigger.”
Miraculously, Mr Pitt managed to snap a few photos of the animal before racing away with his dog.
The images show the large black cat, which local media has described as a panther.
Mr Pitt said: “We made eye contact with it and began to walk towards it.
It looked like it growled and bared its teeth.
“It ran into the woods after that. I think we startled it, it was all so quick.”
Mr Pitt said the sighting left him understandable worried.
He said: “I have been walking over there for years and I’ve never seen anything like it before.
You don’t expect to see that kind of thing.
“It was the morning and I was barely awake. You see the deer and hedgehogs but not a big cat.”
Mr Pitt’s pictures show a large black animal stalking a field.
Though strangely, the RSPCA confirmed that no sightings matching the description have been reported in the park.