Woman fears ‘pumas’ may have attacked a friend’s missing dog

Sam Hammond is convinced she saw big cats in the field beyond the gap in the trees  ANL-141120-091133009
Sam Hammond is convinced she saw big cats in the field beyond the gap in the trees ANL-141120-091133009
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A woman searching for a lost dog near Red Lodge heard a dog yelping minutes after she believes she saw two puma-like cats.

Sam Hammond, from Long Melford, was searching fields about half a mile east of St Christopher’s School for her friend’s missing Labrador cross Bea Bea, when she says she saw the two sandy-colour cats running parallel to her about 50 or 60 metres away.

Lost dog Bea Bea who  Sam Hammond was looking for when she saw the cats ANL-141120-094443001

Lost dog Bea Bea who Sam Hammond was looking for when she saw the cats ANL-141120-094443001

She says that about 15 minutes later she heard a dog barking then yelping and fears Bea Bea, who is still missing, had been attacked.

The incident comes only two months after Barton Mills resident John Berrett says he saw a big cat in Mildenhall Woods.

Sam was still shaken up when she phoned the Bury Free Press a couple of hours later.

“I’m really freaked out,” she said. “There were two of them – that’s done my head in. That’s not a good sign.”

Apart from lions, big cats are generally solitary except for cubs and mothers with young.

The field she says she saw the cats in is surrounded by woodland and has open country between it and the beginning of Thetford forest to the north.

Sam says the sighting was in good light and added: “I’m 100 per cent certain there were two and 100 per cent that they were cats.

“They had speckles down their chest, so it’s possible they’re cubs. It’s a bit scary to think they might be breeding.

“I want people to be aware there is something there.”

Suffolk Police confirmed she had reported the sighting.

A spokeswoman said: “It is rare that we receive these types of calls in the county, but if someone does believe they have seen a big cat they can contact police. If there is immediate danger we will respond, but often the sighting will be referred to other agencies such as the RSPCA.”