A BOURNEMOUTH resident said he was “amazed and astounded” after seeing what he believed to be a panther from his window.

Chris Colledge said he saw the creature on his patio where he lives on West Cliff Green at around 8.30pm on Tuesday night after it prompted his security light to turn on.

He said: “There was no mistaking it, it was definitely a panther.

“I live on the West Cliff overlooking the green and it came over the fence and onto the patio and over the bushes.

“I thought ‘is that a dog?’ and I could see very clearly that it was a panther.

“It was the size of a middle-sized dog but I could tell because of the length of the tail that it definitely wasn’t a dog or a cat’s tail.

“It went into the bushes but the way it moved it was definitely a panther or of that breed.

“There was no one else around. It moved quickly. I thought that’s very large because it went into the bushes and there are lots of rhododendrons there.”

He added: “It was all black, totally black and definitely the tail of a panther or a puma.

“I was amazed and astounded to see it so clearly in the light.

“If it had been there longer I would have taken a photo.”

It is not the first time a big cat has been sighted in the Westbourne area.

As previously reported in the Daily Echo in July, police sent a dog unit to Brunstead Road after Darren Jenner said he saw a big cat walk down the road before climbing into a tree.

A month earlier in the garden of a nearby property, Rachael Mould, took pictures and a video of the same creature before it disappeared.

In September, Bournemouth wildlife expert Jonathan McGowan told the Daily Echo that every week there are “several” big cat sightings in Dorset including leopards, pumas and lynx.

According to Mr McGowan, big cats have roamed Britain for hundreds of years.

He said the tell tale signs include unusual fur caught on fences or barbed wire and mysterious droppings, known as ‘scats’, containing deer and rabbit fur, feathers and animal bones.

If you think you’ve seen a big cat in the area or even have pictures and video of one, email newsdesk@bournemouthecho.co.uk