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Prowling panther or benign bunny?

DOES a big cat stalk the streets of Marston Green? The answer, according to experts, is no.

DOES a big cat stalk the streets of Marston Green? The answer, according to experts, is no.

Kieron McArdle, aged 41, was baffled when he spotted a trail of unusual footprints in a village car park. They had been left on the ground following the flurry of snow that fell earlier this month.

The marks were the size of a human footprint, sparking suggestions they may been left by something out of the ordinary.

But when the pictures were sent to the Big Cats in Britain group they insisted there was an innocent explanation for the indentations - a rabbit.

“I saw the prints after the snow came down on a Saturday night and was amazed how big they were,” Kieron told the Solihull News.

“They were on the car park adjacent to my house [in Maple Leaf Drive] and formed a perfect circle.

“I wondered what on Earth they could be. A rabbit was the last thing I would have thought of, but I sent them to a few organisations I found on the internet.”

Rik Snook, from Big Cats in Britain, said the marks were left by a bunny’s four feet and not a panther’s paw.

Reports of panther-like animals continue to increase across Britain, but there have so far been no confirmed sightings in Solihull.

In 2007, there was interest after sheep were attacked and killed in a farmer’s field near Berkswell. A policeman who saw the bodies claimed the injuries “could only have been caused by a big cat”, but the landowner blamed dogs deliberately set loose on the flock.

And in 1996, there was fierce speculation about the Beast of Claverdon - which killed 55 chickens in the village, near Henley-in-Arden.

 

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