THE Wolds panther has caused quite a stir in Lincolnshire over the last two months with sightings coming in from far and wide. It all started in the Market Rasen Mail on April 30 when a panther sighting was reported for the first time in over four years. Here is a summary of sightings and details of how you can claim a £100 reward for a genuine photograph of the beast.
Market Rasen Mail April 30
"In the first reported sighting for more than four years a woman encountered a large black panther-like creature in the field behind her home last Thursday afternoon."
Christine Tye, who lives on the main road through Ludford, described the animal as 'black with a long black tail' and 'a grey face like a puma'.
Louth Leader May 21
"A huge black cat, thought to be the Wolds panther, has been spotted in the centre of Louth, prompting fears that it may be desperate for food."
Local teenager, Nahar Reiaf, believed he saw the animal on Northgate in the centre of town at around 11.30pm. He said: "I was leaving the house when I saw a big black creature just feet away from me." Nahar went straight back into his house describing the experience as 'surreal'.
Horncastle News June 4
"The sighting of a large, black, cat-like beast between Goulceby and Hemingby has fuelled rumours of a black panther loose in the countryside."
Vic and Carol Gryniewicz from Southrey were driving home when the beast leapt out in front of them.
Carol, who was a sceptic before seeing the panther for herself, is now convinced the beast exists: "It was long, black and very fast - it was the speed of the thing that really got me," she said.
Louth Leader June 4
"There has been another sighting of a huge black cat in Louth."
Mick and Joy Burns from Spilsby, were driving through the town on Tuesday evening when they saw a 'large cat-like animal' in the road at the crossroads on Upgate.
Horncastle News June 18
"A face to face encounter with the Wolds panther certainly convinced one local woman of the beast's existence."
Caroline Buck of Horncastle was still noticeably shaken when she contacted the News about her sighting in Wilksby near Wood Enderby. As she drove past it, it lay down in the grass and opened its mouth: "I could see its teeth," she said, recalling her fright-ening exper-ience.
June 18 Louth Leader. "The Wolds panther has been spotted again - this time just off the A16 on Cheapside near Waltham."
Sheila Rudkin was driving home to Barnoldby le Beck at 12.15am when she saw the infamous creature. She described the animal as a 'brown and black thing' which walked confidently across the road.
In addition to the recent sightings several people have now come forward to tell of their past panther experiences they once believed to be isolated incidents:
Six months ago Rob Barnes from Langton came face to face with the panther on his driveway.
Last July John Brown from Louth was driving through Scamblesby when the big cat leapt in front of his car.
Last year a Baumber woman believes she saw the panther sniffing around her chicken sheds and told the News she had heard of two panthers being set free from a property in Wragby.
Two years ago, 'Tom' from Edward Street in Louth saw the beast on a lane near Louth Golf Club.
Five years ago Charlie Sutton told the Market Rasen Mail he saw the panther running across the road near Willingham Woods picnic area.
Six years ago the panther ran in front of Lee Mansi's car on the A158 at Wragby.
PC Nigel Lound, rural liaison officer for Lincolnshire police is continuing to monitor the case of the Wolds panther. Please call him on 01522 558684 to report any recent sightings.
100 REWARD FOR GENUINE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE BEAST – If you have captured the beast on film, send us a picture. If adjudged by the editor to be authentic, the sender will receive a 100 reward and the photograph will be published in this newspaper.