Are there ‘big cats’ in the Peak District? Where was panther-like creature, what was it doing in viral video

A pair of wild campers came across what they believed was a big cat during a visit to a Peak District beauty spot

Josh Williams and his friend Ben were walking from Mermaid’s Pool on Kinder Scout towards Edale – returning home after a night of wild camping in the Peak District.

They had just passed Jacob’s Ladder when the pair spotted what they thought was a wild cat in a nearby field, our sister title the Derbyshire Times reports.

Josh, 17, said: “We were both confused when we first saw it. We stood staring at it and questioning what it could be for around five minutes before I decided to start recording so that I could zoom in and get a better look.

Josh and his friend were convinced they had come across a big cat.

“We tried attracting its attention so that it would turn and face us, so that we could get a better understanding of what we were looking at. We honestly had no idea what it could be if not a big cat. It was in a field of sheep with no different animals around, and it appeared to have a long black tail, so it definitely wasn’t a sheep.”

The incident took place on Monday (26 September).

‘Out of the ordinary’

Josh said they instantly knew that what they were seeing was something out of the ordinary – and that the wild cat sounded as though it was feeding on another animal.

“We didn’t hear much noise coming from the wild cat, just the occasional crunch, which made me think it was feeding on something like a dead animal – most likely a sheep.

“We could instantly tell it was something different the moment we laid eyes on it – we both saw it at the same time and gave each other a confused look. I could tell we were both thinking the same thing as the day before, we were actually discussing the possibility of us running into a wild cat whilst on our trip.

The pair were camping at Mermaid’s Pool on Kinder Scout.

“The animals around it were seemingly unbothered, but they were certainly keeping their distance, as if they were used to this happening. It was eerie. The massive contrast to its surroundings gave it away – the jet black silhouette stuck out amongst its surroundings like a sore thumb.”

The pair continued to try and catch the wild cat’s attention, but were reluctant to enter the field the animal was in.

They had just passed Jacob’s Ladder when the pair spotted what they thought was a wild cat in a nearby field.

Josh said: “We were standing looking at the animal for around 10 minutes trying to get its attention, but it didn’t budge – it just kept doing the exact same thing it was doing in the video.

“We didn’t go closer as we were behind a fence and didn’t want to run the risk of becoming cat food. The reason we didn’t stay for longer was that we had a train to catch and were running a bit behind on time after watching this animal for so long. It just remained in the same position as we walked away.”

Josh added that he was grateful to have captured some footage of his potential wild cat encounter in the Peak District – with everyone he has shared the video with left shocked at their discovery.

“We didn’t shut up about what we saw the entire way home, telling each other it can’t possibly be a wild cat. But then that also begs the question, what the hell is it?

“I showed the video to my college tutor and friends to make sure I wasn’t going crazy and they were all in disbelief. It was my college tutor Andy who convinced me to hand the video into you guys and to try and get my story out to other people in the area.

“I was glad I managed to capture it on video after the event unfolded as I knew that nobody would believe me if I told them I had seen a panther in the Peak District the first time I went camping.”

Last week a wild camper recorded what he believed was a wild cat growling just outside his tent in the Peak District.

YouTuber Novice Wildcamper who travels around the UK and records videos of his camping trips heard a growling sound while visiting White Edge.

The video was published on his YouTube channel and had over 600 comments with many people saying that the growl sounds exactly like a big cat such as black leopard or lynx.