THE catbeast of Calderdale has been spotted on the prowl for the second time in months.
Teenager Sean McGeady glimpsed the animal – which he likened to a lynx – while walking his dog in Lightcliffe.
The 19-year-old said: “I walking along Nunlea Royd, approaching my home in Bentley Avenue, when a large creature shot across my path.
“It was about five metres away and flew from my left to right, entering a nearby park.
“It appeared too fast, large and lean to be a dog, cat or fox.
“It cleared the paths and road in two bounds, its feet only hitting the ground in the centre of the road.
“It appeared to have a light brown colouration, lighter than a fox. It looked very lean and muscular, and was perhaps the size of a lynx.”
Mr McGeady took his dog home after he spotted the beast at around 11.30pm then ventured back out with a torch to search the area.
But by now the creature had vanished.
“I consider myself a very sceptical person, but that was no domestic pet,” he said.
The last catbeast sighting was reported by Vanessa Pickles, of Brow Foot Gate Lane in Cote Hill, Halifax, in February.
The 24-year-old was on her way to work when she spotted the huge creature roaming a lane leading into Copley Woods from Wakefield Road.
She described it as lynx-like with black and brown patterned markings.
It was the first time a big cat sighting had been reported in three years.
There was a spate at Cunnery Woods, Hipperholme; Park Road, Elland; Cragg Vale and Copley between 2005 and 2007.
Some were of a lynx-like creature while others were of a larger black beast like a panther or puma.
Edward Ashman, Calderdale Council’s countryside manager, said they could be exotic pets that were released when animal licensing laws were introduced.
“They move over such large distances that we could have a couple of animals covering the length and breadth of Calderdale,” he said.
“There is plenty of food about, because we’ve got an ever-increasing wild deer population, so they could sustain themselves.”
• Did you see the catbeast? Email your sightings to email@example.com or call 01422 260208