A photographer believes he spotted a black panther in the Peak District on Sunday.
Mike Newton was driving up the B6521 past the turning for Grindleford station at around 7am when a “black shape suddenly bounded down onto the road”.
Mike said: “I was so surprised I couldn’t quite believe what I had just seen and my mind raced to work out logically what it was. It was big and completely black. It had a long body and a deep chest, and a head that wasn’t raised high on a neck.”
He added: “I was fairly sure what I saw was a black panther, ridiculous as the thought might be.”
Mike said the animal was the same size as a large Alsatian.
He added: “It wasn’t a black sheep or a goat. It wasn’t a cow or a pig. If it was a dog it was totally black and big, and wasn’t any type of Doberman or Rottweiller.
“A longer haired, large black Alsatian would have been the right colour and size, and could have had a deep chest, but something in the behaviour and movement of this creature told me it wasn’t a dog of any type.
“I slowed down by the point where I had seen it. There was no owner, no walker around. And I don’t think a dog, even a stray would have vanished so fast. I would think it might loiter, sniff around the wall, perhaps trot down the road at least before finding a gate to go through rather than leap over the wall on the left side of the road.
“If only I had bought a dash cam as I had been thinking of I would have had proof.”