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Bradford Council launches investigation after big cat sighting in Shipley
Bradford Council is investigating a reported sighting of a “three-foot lynx” cat near the River Aire in Shipley. A woman dog walker from Bingley spotted what she was convinced was a big cat dash out of woodland – chasing a deer – near Nab Wood.
Former RSPCA officer Pam Laking said the woman, who did not want to be named, had reported the sighting to vets and Bradford Council’s countryside service.
Bob Thorp, the Council’s trees and woodlands manager, said Lynx are not native to Britain, but it was “not impossible” that a lynx could have escaped from someone who had imported it as a pet.
Mrs Laking, who is chairman of the Friends of St Ives group in Bingley, said: “This woman was convinced that what she saw was a big cat. She was walking her dog by the river between Nab Wood and Hirst Wood and suddenly a deer shot out in front of a three-foot lynx.
“I can totally believe it. Everybody is ringing everybody else saying ‘be careful’ when they are walking their dogs.”
Mr Thorp said: “It is unlikely that a lynx cat is living in Hirst Wood as we have not had any other reported sightings, but then again it is not impossible as it could have escaped from someone who had imported it.
“The lynx is not native to Britain, so if it is a lynx – which has not been verified – it must have been brought in from outside the country.”
- Read the full story in Saturday's T&A