An unidentified creature that resembles a black panther has been captured on film in the North of England and locals are terrified it could be the long-fabled 'Beast of Bolton.'
Several witnesses have have reported a giant cat prowling around their neighborhoods under the cover of darkness and one woman claims that an animal the "size of a car bonnet" left her petrified with fear as it crossed her path on a poorly lit road at night.
The shaken up eye-witness named Natalie Kay told the local press that she was driving home at night when,
"I had to slam the brakes on and it just stopped dead right in the middle of the road, staring at me. It was big with a long tail, pointed ears and greedy yellow eyes - about the same size as the bonnet of my car and really scary. You hear of these animals in jungles, but you wouldn't think anything like that could live in Bolton."
Natalie claims the beast ran into a secluded area of woodland and reservoirs after it was startled by her headlights.
Although it might seem far fetched for there to be a big cat roaming around Britain, Danny Bamping from the British Big Cat Society said he would treat any reports of 'The Beast of Bolton' "very seriously". He explained to the press that:
I think it's quite likely that the Beast of Bolton exists. I don't think it's going to walk into the town centre and parade in front of everyone. But some areas on the outskirts of Bolton are quite accessible without seeing too much concrete."
Bampling however, doesn't see the creature as a cryptid, but rather a common panther that had been released into the wild after the dangerous animals act came into legislation. He explained that:
"You could walk into Harrods in London and buy a cheetah until 1973, and the laws on ownership only changed in 1976. At that time, most people gave them to zoos or, unfortunately, had them put down. What the Government failed to legislate against were people with emotional attachments to their animals simply took them out on the Yorkshire Moors or Pennines and released them. It was only in 1981 with the countryside act that the loophole was closed. There was a five-year legal window to introduce wild animals into the British countryside. What we're experiencing now are the offspring from that."
A panther like creature has been spotted repeatedly in the area since 2006, one of the past eye witnesses described the creature as:
I saw this thing, and it looked like a black puma - big. It had pointy ears, like a cat, and it was very sleek, with high shoulders and a very long tail, about three foot, and you could see the size of its paws."
Who knows if this mystery will be unravelled any time soon, but it looks like there is definitely something out there stalking the streets of Bolton.
(Source: The Mirror)