What's Happening in Halifax blog

Calderdale beast is spotted

A Halifax resident is the latest person who believes they have come face to face with the Calderdale catbeast.

Susan Rooke, 58, of Exley, Halifax, said she saw the black creature in her back garden. She said the animal, which resembled a puma, then leapt over her 4ft fence and into nearby woods.

Susan, who believes the creature was after the two cockerels she keeps in her garden, even took a photograph of the huge paw print it left behind.

She said: “I heard this commotion outside as I was getting out of the shower but I couldn’t see anything from the bathroom window.

“So I ran downstairs out of the back door. One of my cockerels wasn’t there. Then I saw this big black thing. It just made to run, scratching at the ground, then jumped straight over the fence at the back. It looked like a black panther.”

It is not the first time a big cat has been reported in the area. The remains of a sheep were discovered in Shibden in 2005 and sightings have been reported this year in Lightcliffe, Ogden, Ainley Top, Queensbury and Boothtown.

Calderdale Police’s wildlife office special constable Phil Sanderson said: “We haven’t had reports of domestic animals being attacked. Having said that, there are plenty of ordinary land game, like rabbits, to keep them going. But we can’t say yes or no until one is actually cornered.

“If there are big cats, then the public haven’t anything to fear in as much as at the moment they seem quite happy to eat the land game.”


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