Big cat spotted roaming on road between Melton and Scalford
Four people have reported a sighting of a big cat on a country road in Leicestershire.
The friends were driving from Melton to Scalford when they spotted the animal.
It is the latest in a series of big cat sightings in the county.
Steve Wainwright, one of the passengers in the car, said they saw a large, black, cat-like animal appear in the headlights as they approached the outskirts of the village.
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He said: "It crossed the road directly in front of us and continued down the road, passing the car. Its coat was black and its size was somewhere between a Labrador and Great Dane. It was quite surreal.
"It didn't appear to be in any particular hurry, nor was it concerned about the presence of the car."
The sighting took place on Sunday, September 30, at about 9.10pm.
Mr Wainwright, who is technical manager for Lafarge Readymix Ltd, of Mountsorrel, said: "There were four of us in the car. We drove straight past it and it was all over in two or three seconds.
"We didn't have to stop for it. We weren't going very fast, probably about 30 or 40mph.
"It was only afterwards the realisation kicked in of what we must have seen."
Will Parry, who was in the car, believes it was his second big cat sighting in the county.
The 20-year-old, who now lives in Nottingham, said: "It was about January last year when I last saw one.
"I used to work at the Red Lion, in Stathern, and was cycling home at about 1am.
"When I got to the top of Stathern Hill, I picked it up in my bike's light.
"I could clearly see it was a big cat, like the latest one we all saw. I could see its eyes.
"It wasn't a situation I wanted to be in.
"It was a bit scary because I wasn't sitting in a car with half a ton of metal around me and I turned round and went back the way I'd come.
"I'd forgotten about it until the latest sighting.
"When the others saw it, they believed what I'd seen the first time."
Mr Wainwright said: "At the time, his account was treated with a degree of skepticism. Now, he is quite justified in saying, I told you so."
Nigel Spencer, of Rutland and Leicestershire Pantherwatch, said: "I have contacted the Leicestershire police wildlife officer about the latest sighting, although there are no public safety issues."