Big cat on the moors?

Leeds Uni student supposedly spots a big cat on Ilkley Moor

Leeds student Billy Holmes was walking on Ilkley Moor when he sighted what he believes was a “huge cat” (circled) on the Cow and Calf Rocks – and managed to snap its picture.

Billy described the moment when he saw the creature: “I was walking across the Cow and Calf area as it was beautiful day, and there was this animal that was far more muscular than anything I had seen before. It was sort of lurking about and then got away as we got closer.

“I reckon we were about 20 metres away and we saw some markings that were similar to that of a leopard or snow leopard. It literally looked like a huge cat. A group of men also saw it who were closer and were just as confused as us.”

Unfortunately, none of the group of men have been identified to comment on the strange happenings.

The sighting is not the first of its kind, as a quick internet search will reveal. Reports of large beasts roaming in Yorkshire have been infamously rife over the years. In January of last year, Michael Armitage snapped a blurry image of a “big cat”. However, the poor image quality left some sceptics wondering whether it was indeed a “panther” far away, or just a tabby-cat really close.

big cat YEP
Michael Armitage’s snap of a ‘big cat’ from last year

Billy Holmes’ sighting also carry echoes of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, in which Sherlock Holmes (no relation) solves the mystery of similar beastly sightings in the wilds of Yorkshire. The famous detective story is sure to have given fuel to rumours of beasts in Yorkshire over the years.

Whether you believe the picture or not (photoshop? Elementary, my dear Watson) the persistency of sightings leaves Billy’s “snow leopard” not completely out of the realms of possibility.

Euan Hammond 

(Image: Yorkshire Evening Post; York Post)

Leave a Reply