UPDATE: Puma spotted in the wild at Bayfield, near Holt in North Norfolk
13:50 28 March 2011
North Norfolk was at the centre of a big cat mystery today as a number of people reported seeing a black panther or a puma roaming wild in the north of the county.
The cat was sighted at the Bayfield Hall estate, near Holt.
Robin Combe, owner of the estate, said it had been spotted by three “sensible country people” who were on a grey squirrel shoot.
He said: “My information is second hand, but they saw it about two miles south of Blakeney, next to the Langham to Letheringsett road.”
Adrian Bamforth, who was leading the squirrel hunt, played down the sighting, saying: “It doesn’t take much for somebody to say they’ve seen a big cat. There are several deer on the estate, so it could have been a mistake.”
Nonetheless, word quickly spread on social media, including Twitter and Facebook, and a number of other people added their own sightings at other locations across the county.
One Twitter user, Cat Theobald, said she had seen “him/it” between Burnham Market and Burnham Overy in north-west Norfolk.
Sightings of big black cats in the wild have been regular occurrences all over Norfolk in recent years. But no conclusive evidence of their existence has yet been produced.
● Did you see the big cat, or do you know someone who did? Call Steve Downes on 01263 513920.