THE PAW print of a big cat is believed to have been found near a business park in Gloucester.
Big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge was planning on camping out in Waterwells after a track revealed the mysterious animals could have been scoping out the area.
Mr Tunbridge was called on Friday morning by Ian Mirfin, and told of the footprint found in mud near Marconi Drive. He believes it could be the real thing as it is four inches wide.
He said: “I have looked at the very closely and they do resemble that of a big cat.
“I have measured the claw marks and they go down into the mud about an inch. There is no way dogs would have claws like that and so it does make me believe it would be a big cat.
It is very muddy and slippery at the moment so it would make sense for the cat to have its claws out to try and stop slipping.
“Interestingly enough at this time of year big cats do tend to go around areas like this and they come out at night scavenging for food.
“I have also seen deer and rabbit tracks in the area, so it would be an ideal place for them to be at this time of the year. That is why there have been lots of sightings in Quedegley and Kingsway – it is a similar sort of area and near to a nature reserve.”
Frank from Podsmead gives talk around the county on big cats and his experience tracking them.
Mr Mirfin attended one of the talks and when he saw the tracks called Mr Tunbridge straight away.
“I had a vague idea of what it might because I have seen one before in the snow at Blackbridge,” said Mirfin, who feels it probably isn’t a track made by a dog.
“It’s about four inches wide - I have a Bull Mastiff cross, and she weighs eight stones, and she leaves just a two inch print. It’s a different shape too.”
Last year Mr Tunbridge received 64 reports of big cats roaming the streets of Gloucestershire in 2013.
“There have been sightings reported to me around that area, and across the Robinswood and Haresfield,” he said.
“It is only one print and it has been rained on, so I cannot be 100% sure but there are strong indications it could be a cat’s print.”