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Essex ABC sighted

AN ALLEGED ‘Alien Big Cat’, dubbed the so-called Beast of Ongar’ has been spotted in fields in Abridge, Essex since it is believed to have spooked dogs which were being taken for a walk in the Toot Hill area.

Local resident Stephen Monk said he saw a panther-like cat in fields at the bottom of his garden four weeks ago after his dogs were alerted to something prowling around at 4am.
Mr Monk, of Middle Boy, Abridge, was asleep on the settee when his dog ran at the French doors having been alerted to something.

He said: ‘I half thought I wasn’t believing what I was seeing. I’ve heard reports of a cat being about but it wasn’t until I saw a report on the front page of the Epping Forest Guardian newspaper - it had to be that.

‘It was like a panther - black with a long tail about as big as my(Labrador cross dog but not as fat.

‘It would have been three-and-a-half to 4ft long and had a very long tail. At 4am the morning it was like broad daylight.

‘I didn’t even think that it was a ‘big cat’). It didn’t come into my head until a read the article. Had I been a bit quicker I could have grabbed my mobile phone and taken a picture of it. It ran right across the field about 60 ft away from me.

‘It’s definitely not a little tabby cat.’

Recently, local newspapers reported that repeated sightings of a big cat have been made in and around Toot Hill, with a stripped deer carcass believed to have been the work of a big cat. Donna Roots said her dogs were spooked by something in the undergrowth. They then came across the complete pelt some 100 yards away.

She is aware of about half-a-dozen sightings in the area in eight months.

They follow numerous others reported by the local press dating back several years, including sightings, or suspected big cat’ related attacks on animals - and in one case a car - in Norton Heath, Matching, Roydon, Stanford Rivers, and North Weald where four geese were killed by an animal later confirmed by a big cat expert to have been a Lynx.