BIG cat experts have said if more sightings emerge of an animal prowling the fields around Dalton that could indicate it may be something sinister.

Footage of a large cat was filmed by dog-walkers who were in the fields close to Dalton Bypass on Monday morning.

South Lakes Safari Zoo's animal manager David Armitage has watched the footage.

While he believes it shows a domestic cat he said any other sightings of the animal in the area could point to it being something more sinister.

"I think it's a domestic cat. It looks larger because it's on the ridge with no nearby vegetation to compare with and determine its size," he said.

The Westmorland Gazette: Dalton zoo animal manager David Armitage (second from left) watched the footageDalton zoo animal manager David Armitage (second from left) watched the footage

"I'll be interested to know if there are any more sightings. A domestic cat will only be reported (in error) once.

"Several sightings might indicate something more serious."

Between 2003 and 2018 police in Cumbria received a total of 40 reports of "big cat sightings".

Over the years The Westmorland Gazette has reported a large number of sightings of a large black cat prowling in the area.

In November 2018, a teacher was left in 'utter-disbelief' after a walk through the woods near Windermere campsite when she saw a black panther-like creature sat just feet away from where she stood.


She spotted the large creature in the woodlands near Ratherheath Tarn.

In September 2018, Roy Jackson, a retired civil engineer was convinced that the feline he saw sat on a wall on the driveway of his Gatebeck Lane home, near Endmoor, was either a puma or a cougar.

He captured what he believed to be the creature on an infra-red camera.

In 2016, a former police chief caught on camera what he thought to be a large, non-native black cat on an Eden railway embankment at Wild Rose Caravan Park, Ormside, near Appleby.

The Gazette has also reported sightings at Kendal, Sizergh, Levens, Holme, Winster, Sedbergh, Brigsteer and Witherslack.