A jogger was forced to run for his life after encountering the infamous Beast of Sydenham.I know ‘Silly Season’ seems to get earlier each year, but come on!
Father-of-four Roger Fleming, 40, was on a late night run with his puppy King on December 9 near Sydenham Hill station when a giant cat chased them through Dulwich Wood.
Mr Fleming believes the creature, which he says looked like a brown cheetah, was the Beast of Sydenham, seen several times in the area over the years.
The building services manager first saw the beast at the bottom of a path in the wood.Outpacing his mysterious assailant easily, it seems…
He said: “It was at least five or six feet long.
“I thought to myself ‘what the hell is this?’ That’s when the panic set in.
“It sat there, locked its eyes on to me, sat up and - boom - it started running towards us.”
Mr Fleming grabbed hold of his dog and ran through the wood.
He said: “I looked over my shoulder and could see it still running at me.But since he’s giving an interview to the NewsShopper, we can obviously take it he didn’t?
“I was just thinking ‘please stop’. It was knackering and I was almost ready to give up.
“I was thinking ‘this is it - I think I’m going to die’.”
After realising the beast had given up the chase, Mr Fleming rushed home to Dulwich and read about other sightings on the News Shopper website.Signs..? Good lord, are phantoms the responsibility of the council now?
He said: “When I got home I was almost in tears the adrenalin was pumping through me so fast.
“I swear an oath to God never to go to that same part at night again.
“There should be signs telling people to take some caution because they’re walking around willy-nilly.”
Neil Arnold, a researcher (Ed: translation – unemployed nutjob) who runs Kent Big Cat Research, said the beast is believed to be a black leopard, the offspring of pets released into the wild.Except, of course, Mr Fleming insisted it was brown. Perhaps he didn’t want to be racist?
Or it’s faded in the sun…?
He said: “He should have stood his ground, maintained eye contact and backed off slowly - but it’s easy to say that. ”Err, yes. Perhaps he should have gone to Specsavers too, I think that might have done him more good…
“People don’t need to panic because big cats won’t harm them. ”Riiiiight…
Particularly not imaginary ones, that’s for sure.
“I do this full-time to let people know that these animals aren’t a threat.”Not because you are otherwise unemployable then?