The epidemic of big cats in Britain could be wider than it was initially feared after a man claims to have seen one twice in a second county.

Steve Swatton, 63, says he has also seen a large fawn cat and a large black cat on the outskirts of his home town of Plympton, Devon.

He spoke after hearing recent reports and incidents at Harrowbarrow and Callington in Cornwall.

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Becky Abrey was celebrating her birthday with a family meal when she saw the huge beast supposed to be the size of an Alsatian this weekend.

Becky Abrey was celebrating her birthday with a family meal when she saw the huge beast supposed to be the size of an Alsatian this weekend.

Steve Swatton, 63, who says he saw a big black cat on the outskirts of his hometown, Plymouth

Steve Swatton, 63, who says he saw a big black cat on the outskirts of his hometown, Plymouth

And he said that his own experiences in Plymouth, Devon, are proof that big cats are on the lookout in a much larger area.

Mr. Swatton, co-owner of the Flex Fitness gym, said for the first time that he saw a big cat in Plympton.

Mrs. Abrey was celebrating her 29th birthday with a family meal when she saw the huge beast on a parking lot near Praa Sands Beach in Cornwall.

Mrs. Abrey was celebrating her 29th birthday with a family meal when she saw the huge beast on a parking lot near Praa Sands Beach in Cornwall.

He said: "It was probably about 50 meters ahead of me, I saw a real fat cat and I knew it was not a normal cat because of its tail.

"He was tawny and wore a dark brown mask. He looked like a Burmese cat, but he was three times taller and he wore a collar.

"I looked in all the books, it was a little mysterious."

Mr. Swatton then became aware of a similar observation made by a cat and discussed what he had seen at the pub.

He said that he had been surprised laughing, but a man heard the conversation and came to explain why he thought the cats had come.

Mr. Swatton said: "Someone came and said: I believe you, I live in a house located in the neighboring field."

The man told Mr. Swatton that he was working in a local wildlife park and was involved in building lattice cages for big cats.

A large panther-like cat would hunt down the small village of Harrowbarrow in Cornwall. The animal footprints were left in the garden of James Stephenson, 23, and then reviewed by the RSPCA who confirmed that they belonged to a "fat cat".

A large panther-like cat would hunt down the small village of Harrowbarrow in Cornwall. The animal footprints were left in the garden of James Stephenson, 23, and then reviewed by the RSPCA who confirmed that they belonged to a "fat cat".

Mr. Swatton said:[The man said] "I could see that the races I was doing were not going to hold because it was a fence," it solved that mystery. "

Mr. Swatton said he saw a "huge black panther" on a second occasion while he was walking with his friend's son, Brad Bugdale, near the village of Sparkwell, Devon.

Mr. Swatton drew the creature because he did not have a phone and could not capture the beast.

He added, "I could not understand why no one else saw it. He watched us look at him, he was very tall and very muscular. It was the same shape as a greyhound, but bigger and bulkier.

James Stephenson of Harrowbarrow, near Callington, Cornwall, photographed with Cross Collie puppy, Maisy. The 23-year-old was walking his other dog, the 4-year-old labrador Marley, when he was attacked by a large, panther-like cat, leaving him with several cuts in the claws of the unknown beat.

James Stephenson of Harrowbarrow, near Callington, Cornwall, photographed with Cross Collie puppy, Maisy. The 23-year-old was walking his other dog, the 4-year-old labrador Marley, when he was attacked by a large, panther-like cat, leaving him with several cuts in the claws of the unknown beat.

"It was about five to six feet long with a tail about five feet long.

Although not being scared, Mr. Swatton said that the observation had taken the pair by surprise.

He said: "It was very elegant and the size of an Alsatian. It was like watching a shadow as it was a jet black, as black as possible.

"It was very powerful and its tail was very long too.

"What struck me about his tail was that where he was hanging, it was very long and the same thickness all the way along. It was a perfect bow shape; if you put a piece of string on it, it will look like a taut bow.

Maisy the colley puppy owned by James Stephenson is afraid to go out after a cat attack. Police and the RSPCA have confirmed that a large cat resembling a panther harasses a small village where several domestic animals have disappeared. Fears have been expressed for the safety of children and animals after the disappearance of FIVE cats in a week - and a dog attacked by a "panther or cougar".

Maisy the colley puppy owned by James Stephenson is afraid to go out after a cat attack. Police and the RSPCA have confirmed that a large cat resembling a panther harasses a small village where several domestic animals have disappeared. Fears have been expressed for the safety of children and animals after the disappearance of FIVE cats in a week – and a dog attacked by a "panther or cougar".

He added: "He was watching us and I think we saw each other at the same time, when we were about 50 to 60 meters away.

"Then suddenly he disappeared and jumped over a hedge in the undergrowth that led to the forest.

"I ran up there, thinking there was maybe a chance to see it, but it was gone."

& # 39; He was probably more scared by us than by us. At the time, I was not so scared as to think about it now if I'd been stuck, that could have gotten a little naughty, as it probably weighs around 60 pounds (70 pounds) – heavy enough to drop a deer.

Ms. Aubrey's observation comes just days after James Stephenson, 23, said his dog was bleeding from his wounds and was carrying claw marks on his shoulder.

Ms. Aubrey's observation comes just days after James Stephenson, 23, said his dog was bleeding from his wounds and was carrying claw marks on his shoulder.

A short time later, a man visited Mr. Swatton at his gym to tell him that he thought he had "unintentionally" killed the big cat.

Mr. Swatton added, "He was coming back from the north on the A38 near Ivybridge and it was 1am and it was dark.

"He told me that he was looking up and that there was a huge black cat that looked like a jaguar. He said that he did not have time to put his breaks.

"It caused £ 1,000 worth of damage to the car."

Mr Swatton said he "regretted" the people who are currently denouncing cat sightings in Devon and Cornwall, as they are rarely raw and end up being "ridiculed".

Last week, residents of the village of Harrowbarrow revealed that they were being hunted by a cougar or an alleged panther.

James Stephenson recounted how the animal attacked his Labrador Marley and then ran it into his garden, while it appeared that several cats had disappeared from the village near Callington.

There was also a weekend sighting at Praa Sands, near Penzance, in which Becky Abrey captured the black cat on video.

Mr. Swatton said, "There are a lot of them around, I feel sorry for the people who have problems with them when they are ridiculed for that.

"I know at least nine people who have seen it.

"These cats are becoming more and more courageous as they get used to us. It will only be a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

What is the beast of Bodmin?

Considered haunting Bodmin Moor in northeastern Cornwall, the beast is described as a phantom wild cat.

Seen since 1978, the cat has wandered in the moors and has been seen several times by stunned passersby.

Evidence of its existence include mutilated animals, the observation of a large cat skull in 1995 and testimonials.

Scientists deny its existence after an official investigation found no evidence of cats.

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