TWO people claim to have seen a “large, black and muscular” cat in fields near Abergele at the weekend.

The sighting took place at 7.30pm on Saturday.

Witnesses Naomi and Dan, who have asked for their surnames not to be used, had driven through the Betws-yn-Rhos when they encountered the creature “just after the turning for Hunters Hamlet Caravan Park”.


Gwrych Castle. Picture: Gwrych Castle / Facebook

Gwrych Castle. Picture: Gwrych Castle / Facebook


They reported the encounter to Puma Watch North Wales, the group set up to investigate and document the increasing number of big cats in North Wales.

They said: “We were driving along the road, what we thought was a large Rottweiler along the hedge turned to dart up the bank in the trees/hedges.

“We noticed a long tail and muscular back end. Was all black about the size of a very large Rottweiler or even bigger.”


Puma Watchs map of big cat sightings,

Puma Watch's map of big cat sightings,


The latest sighting has been added to Puma Watch's interactive map.

Just two days Dan and Naomi's sighting, a large black cat sent a “terrified” dog walker running back to her car near Llanddulas – just two miles away.

Sarah told Puma Watch: “Me and my dog Lauren were out for our afternoon walk at a hill we found a few weeks ago, called Maiden’s Leap on Google Maps.

“Tonight, as we were walking back down the hill, I could see this large, black animal prowling along the hedge line at the bottom of the hill.

“It started to come closer towards us but it kept skirting the edge rather than right at us. I could see it was well over a metre long from head to tail and double the height of my dog easily (she’s a golden retriever)

“I absolutely legged it back to my car, I was terrified it would spot us and start chasing us down. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen in this country!”


This years Im a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! camp mates.

This year's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! camp mates.


Both sightings are approximately three miles from Gwrych Castle, where the current series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here is taking place.

The woodland and fields surrounding the castle are a hotspot for big cat sightings.

In October, 2020, Chloe Green submitted a photograph of a creature she saw as she was walking in Coed Y Gopa woods near Gwrych Castle.


Photo of what is believed to be a big cat sighted in Abergele. Image: Puma Watch North Wales

Photo of what is believed to be a big cat sighted in Abergele. Image: Puma Watch North Wales


She said she heard a rustling noise in the trees before a big black shape jump down ahead of her and her boyfriend at about 10pm at night.

Although visibility was poor, she managed to capture an image of the creature, which she believed was a puma or a panther, on her phone.

She said: “To my surprise a big black shape moved in the bushes. I didn’t even notice it was there till it moved, almost like it had frozen but then it turned around and looked at me, still standing really still. I was a bit in shock to be honest I didn’t really know what to do. It looked smaller than the big cats that I’ve seen at the zoo, but much much bigger than a house cat but it looked to me to be very feline."

And in March this year, Gwrych Castle shared a photo of a mystery paw print found in the grounds.


Photo of paw prints found in woodlands posted by Grwych Castle in Abergle Image: Gwrych Castle

Photo of paw prints found in woodlands posted by Grwych Castle in Abergle Image: Gwrych Castle


The castle said: "We’ve seen reports of a Puma roaming the surrounding woods of Gwrych Castle, this paw print was spotted in our woods last week.

"But what do you think, Puma or dog paw print?"

Founder of Puma Watch, Tony Jones said: "They’re not the first sightings in the area. Over the last 12 months, there have been multiple sightings reported and footprints found a few miles away in woodland around Abergele, though these are the first we’ve heard from Llanddulas and Betws-yn-Rhos.

"The Mirror and The Sun recently published articles on the areas big cats, owing to the filming of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity programme at Gwrych Castle in Abergele."

"Across the county back in July, a woman living in Conwy called police for help after she spotted a “black panther” sitting on her garden fence back in July. North Wales Police recently revealed details of the incident to Puma Watch under the Freedom of Information Act.

"The incident log stated: 'Informant states she saw a black panther on her fence on Saturday. Incident happened on Saturday – can be closed and tagged for the Rural Crime Team.'

"Big cats such as pumas are solitary with a hunting range of dozens of miles. They’re mostly spotted in Snowdonia and the Clwydian hills but reports of sightings in urban locations some distance from these areas are becoming more frequent."