Big Cat Reported on Prince Charles' Estate 'Size of a Labrador'

A big cat the "size of a labrador" is stalking the grounds near Prince Charles' Highgrove Estate.

Two burly tree surgeons gulped in fear as the beast prowled under the willow tree they were felling.

John Vine and Nick Cole saw the beast lope out of thicket.

They managed to snap the cat’s paw print after it slinked off at mid morning on Monday.

And experts think it's is a credible sighting.

Mr Vine, 49, said: “I was working 50ft up in tree when Nick shouted to me to look down to my left.

“I saw this black cat, that I first thought was just a domestic cat. I only got the scale when I saw it come half-way up a gate post.

“The cat was the size of a labrador with a shimmering coat, like gloss paint and a black tail as long as itself.

"The tail was what struck me most. It seemed as though it was floating, curled up at the end and hovering in the air.

“The head was similar to a domestic cat, but slightly bigger.

“I wasn’t so much scared, as in awe. I think he was more afraid of me than I was of him. He didn’t slouch but just swept away like a wave.

Credible

“I’ve been a sceptic about these kinds of things in the past and though it was just old wives’ tales, but there’s no doubt in my mind now.”

The sighting was on a dirt track near the Highgrove Estate in Tudor Mead, Gloucester, around 11.30am.

Big cat expert, Frank Tunbridge, 60, has been tracking cats for the past 25 years and believes the men’s account is too similar to other recent sightings to ignore.

He said: “I think they disturbed this animal, working with their equipment and it came out of the thicket. You’ll never see them if you actively go looking.

“I went to the spot and found the hole it came out of - it was the size of a large steering wheel.

“These sightings are increasing and most of them are now so uniform that it’s clear a number of big cats have naturalised in the environment.

“How Mr Vine described it really sums up what others have seen. It is a credible sighting."

He believes most of the big cats seen now are descended from animals like leopards or pumas released by owners after Dangerous Animals Act of 1976 tightened up regulations.

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