Police were investigating today after a mum was forced to save three children after they were stalked – by a BIG CAT.
Terrified Leah Doney, 25, leapt into action after her son Marley, daughter Shyne and a friend’s child came face to face with the large panther-like feline.
The group were walking to shops when the children spotted the big black cat on a residential street located near woods.
Leah, of Whiteshill, Glos., heard the youngsters scream and ran round and saw the cat – ”staring” at the kids as it was ready to pounce on them.
She said: ”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’. 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.”
Leah saw the sleek black animal with green eyes in a park near Stroud, Glos, on Saturday.
Shyne and her friend, both aged three, and Marley, spotted the big cat at around 3pm.
Leah called police, who said anyone who sees what they believe is a big cat to call the non-emergency number, 101.
Gloucestershire big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge 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.”
Gloucestershire big cat author Rick Minter said deer fencing and scrub clearance could be sensible steps to take.
He said: ”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.
“Those are the sort of practical measures which happen overseas.”
Police confirmed they had been contacted by a woman reporting the sighting.