WHILE walking east on the footpath along Grim’s Ditch (I was near Sturton Hatch and a little more than a mile north west of Grovely Farm) on the north side of the woodland overlooking the Wylye Valley on a sunny afternoon in late March last year, I looked back and saw a big black cat at the edge of the wood close to where I’d just been walking; it was a little over 100 yards away.

After about two seconds it saw me, turned around and bounded back into the woods.

It fitted exactly the description of the one seen near Fovant, as described in the article in the Forest Journal last week: most noteworthy was the very long tail with a tuft at the end.

I realised at the time it had to be a black panther.

Quite possibly it was the same animal, now roaming only about four miles away to the south of where I saw it.

According to the internet there have been several black panther sightings on the Brendan Hills 123 miles away and many other big cat sightings around the country.

Martin Hill

Hyperion, Stuckton, Fordingbridge