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Campers capture terrifying footage of 'big cat' while walking in Peak District

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Campers capture terrifying footage of 'big cat' while walking in Peak District

A pair of campers were shocked to see a ‘big cat’ while walking in the Peak District, having captured their encounter on camera for fear that no one would believe what they had seen. Watch the footage here: 


Josh Williams and his friend Ben went walking on Monday, 26 September, leaving from Mermaid’s Pool on Kinder Scout towards Edale so that they could return home after a night of wild camping

But just after they passed Jacob’s Ladder, the duo were baffled to spot what they thought was a wild cat in a nearby field. 

Josh, 17, said they were ‘both confused’ when they first saw the creature, and ‘stood staring at it’ for five minutes to try and work out what it was, before he eventually decided to start filming it so he could zoom in for a better look. 

He recalled: “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.” 

What is that? Credit: SWNS
What is that? Credit: SWNS

According to Josh, the suspected cat sounded like it was feeding on something, with the ‘occasional crunch’ giving him the impression it was eating 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,” the teenager continued. 

“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.” 

Josh said other animals were ‘seemingly unbothered’ but were ‘keeping the distance’. 

"It was eerie,” he said, saying the ‘jet black silhouette stuck out amongst its surroundings like a sore thumb’. 

While Josh and Ben tried to catch the cat’s attention, they didn’t move in any closer as they were worried about ‘becoming cat food’. 

Big cat? Credit: SWNS
Big cat? Credit: SWNS

Eventually, they had to leave to catch their train, but the bizarre encounter lingered with them long after they’d left. 

“We didn’t shut up about what we saw the entire way home, telling each other it can’t possibly be a wild cat,” Josh said. 

“But then that also begs the question, what the hell is it?” 

He showed the video to his college tutor and other friends, who he says were ‘all in disbelief’ as well. 

He added: “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.” 

According to Derbyshire Times, YouTuber Novice Wildcamper – aka 53-year-old Michael – also said he had recently heard a 'guttural growl’ while visiting White Edge, having posted a video online. 

After he shared a video of the strange sound, many people commented to say it sounded like the growl of a big cat, like a black leopard or lynx. However, this is also unconfirmed. 

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: UK News, Animals

Jess Hardiman
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