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Strange tail Mysterious black panther-like 'beast' caught on camera by Wexford man

Sighting of large cat that moved at high speed is no joke says Lar who recorded it on his mobile

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Lar showing the area of land where he spotted a large cat like animal lurking near his home in Oulart, Co Wexford.

Lar showing the area of land where he spotted a large cat like animal lurking near his home in Oulart, Co Wexford.

Alan Sherry searching an area of land where a large cat-like animal was spotted in Oulart, Co Wexford.

Alan Sherry searching an area of land where a large cat-like animal was spotted in Oulart, Co Wexford.

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Lar showing the area of land where he spotted a large cat like animal lurking near his home in Oulart, Co Wexford.

A man who recorded what he believes was a panther-like creature running wild near his south-east home has said it was definitely not his neighbour's domestic cat.

The sighting of the "Beast of Oulart Hill" took place in Co Wexford, earlier this month, and has caused excitement among the "big-cat sightings" community over the past two weeks.

The Sunday World travelled to Oulart this week to meet local man Lar, who recorded the video of the animal from his back garden.

He said he is certain the animal he saw was a big cat of some variety but he didn't want his surname published as he says sightings like this can attract ridicule.

"I understand people not coming forward with these sightings because you just have the p*** taken out of you."

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Black Leopard

Black Leopard

Black Leopard

He said he saw the animal around 50 yards away in a field at the back of his house. It had a large tail and moved at incredible speed.

"The movement of it was just mad. It was so fast. It was actually frightening. I was watching it for what seemed like a minute or two - but was probably only 30 seconds before I grabbed the phone," he said.

"By then was at the bottom of the field. It was like it just hovered across the field. If it was a dog or something like that it wouldn't have moved like that."

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The 'Beast of Oulart'

The 'Beast of Oulart'

The 'Beast of Oulart'

The animal then disappeared into the overgrowth near a local stream and hasn't been seen since.

The video Lar took is blurry, which he knows adds to the scepticism.

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"I was raging with the video quality. When I was recording it, I was looking through my eyes rather than looking at the phone. The shake didn't help either."

He said: "I myself would be a sceptical person with this kind of stuff. I do a small bit of shooting and I'd know from looking across a couple of fields the size of a fox or a badger or whatever.

"If someone said to me they'd seen this I'd be thinking in my head they're mistaking the size of the animal - but when I saw this I knew."

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Alan Sherry searching an area of land where a large cat-like animal was spotted in Oulart, Co Wexford.

Alan Sherry searching an area of land where a large cat-like animal was spotted in Oulart, Co Wexford.

Alan Sherry searching an area of land where a large cat-like animal was spotted in Oulart, Co Wexford.

He said he shared the video with a Facebook group called 'Big Cat Sightings Ireland' and the members believed it was indeed a wild feline.

"People have said it might have been a black panther, but I was googling different big cats the other night and it seemed to me it was black leopard.

"Someone from Big Cat Sightings Ireland sent it onto to someone who looked at it closely and they came back to me and said it was definitely a big cat, but he couldn't confirm from the video what exactly it was."

Since he shared the video, a neighbour in Oulart said they believe the animal may have been their cat, which they posted a picture of into the Big Cat Sightings Group.

However, Lar told the Sunday World it was definitely not a domestic cat.

"They said 'this is my cat, we live in Oulart.' They were convinced it was their cat. I've seen that cat around Oulart and it definitely wasn't that cat."

Lar even offered to bring the cat owner over to the field to stage a reconstruction, which he said would show the size difference between the two but so far the owner hasn't taken up the offer.

He also took a picture of his brother standing in the same spot the following day to show a size comparison.

Lar said there was a helicopter hovering over the field where he spotted the cat in the days surrounding the sighting.

"There was a small red private helicopter flying over the field the day before the sighting, the day of the sighting and the day after. We were wondering if that was just coincidence or if it was someone looking for an escaped cat."

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Pic shows the area of land where a large cat like animal was spotted in Oulart, Co Wexford.

Pic shows the area of land where a large cat like animal was spotted in Oulart, Co Wexford.

Pic shows the area of land where a large cat like animal was spotted in Oulart, Co Wexford.

He added: "We went back over the next day and I brought the gun with me and the German Shepherd, just in case. I wasn't taking any chances. People have said to me since, that they wouldn't attack humans but if this thing came at you there's not a hope in hell. Even the rifle I have wouldn't have done much of a job on it. It was scary."

He said he is also scared for his young son being in the back garden and added that there have been a lot of sheep killings in the area recently and wonders if there is any link.

"A lot of farmers have said foxes have been milling the sheep out of it recently and after this I've been thinking is it foxes or is it this?"

He hopes anyone else who has seen the beast will come forward.

"I know what I saw and it will only be a matter of time before someone else sees it. People might have already seen it but been too afraid to come forward."

His sighting is not the only one in Ireland over the years. The PSNI issued a warning in 2017 after a report of a big cat sighting in Newry, while the Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reported a puma there in 2018.

Kevin Cunningham, who runs the National Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Ballivor, Co. Meath, recently told the Sunday World that there were several people in Ireland keeping big cats.

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