Terrified mum Leah Doney has told of how she grabbed a pair of toddlers she believed were being stalked by a big cat.
"They were out of my sight for 30 seconds and my son Marley ran back around the corner and said "Quick mum, there's a big black cat", she said.
"He was really frightened. "I thought at first he was being silly but then I could see, he was frightened to death.
"The cat was about 15 metres away, down low, flicking its tail and looking at the children.
"When I walked towards them, it stopped moving and it just stared at me. I literally grabbed them and did not look back."
She said Shyne and his friend, both aged three, didn't see the cat but she and six-year-old Marley Stocks both believe they saw the big cat off Oak Drive in Rodborough at around 3pm.‘Marley’..? ‘Shyne’..? I think a potential maneater on the loose is by far the least frightening thing about this story…
Not that the police are taking it very seriously:
She called police, who said anyone who sees what they believe is a big cat to call the non-emergency number, 101.*chuckles*
Leah, 25, from Whiteshill, was visiting her mum Cath Brown's house in Oak Drive and neighbours raced out to try to capture it on camera. They were unable to, but Gloucestershire big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge, who Mrs Brown contacted, said the dry weather may have drawn the cat to a stream nearby where deer drink.
"It may have been laying up in that area to keep cool, and might have been curious," he said.
"We have to take this seriously – this behaviour has not been seen before."What, your constant attention seeking? Oh, we’ve seen that before…
Gloucestershire big cat author Rick Minter said deer fencing and scrub clearance could be sensible steps to take.
"Although scrub has great wildlife value it might help people's peace of mind if the area is more visible and there is less cover in that particular spot," he said.
"Those are the sort of practical measures which happen overseas."Well, yes. Because overseas, they are needed. Not so in Gloucestershire.