A large black cat with a bushy tail that reportedly looked similar to a puma was spotted prowling in the Limavady area on June 29 last year, it’s emerged.
The ‘big cat’ report was one of sixteen recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) over the past four years.
The next nearest sightings last year were in Portrush, where a ‘very large cat’ was reported on July 13, and in Fintona, where a ‘black panther’ was spotted in September 8.
Other sightings between 2011 and 2014 were confined to the far east and south of Northern Ireland.
However, there have long been reports of big cats roaming the fields of the North West.
For instance, there were reports of ‘large black cats’ in Limavady and in Strabane in June and July of 2004 respectively.
There was a report of a ‘puma’ in Limavady in December 2004 and a ‘very big black cat’ in Strabane in February 2005.
More recently there were reports of a possible tiger or ‘puma,’ which was sighted in the Londonderry area on June 10, 2007, and a ‘large fawn-coloured cat,’ which was spotted in Strabane on April 22, 2009, on Strabane.