From the Sutton Guardian (UK):
16 Sept. 2007
Large cat 'probably a panther',
After reports in last week's Sutton Guardian of a mysterious "big cat" spotted in the borough, other readers have contacted us. A Cheam resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she saw a large black cat, resembling a panther, dart across her garden in Fieldsend Road two weeks ago. She said: "I knew it wasn't a fox because they stop and sometimes look at you. Also it was much bigger. "I immediately called my son down, but he was too late to see it and didn't believe me." But Neil Arnold who has been studying large cats in England for 18 years said there was every chance a panther was at large. He said: "These cats were popular as pets during the 1960s and many were released into the wild during the 1970s and 1980s after the introduction of the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act. "I am monitoring around Croydon, Wallington and Purley although this cat could be any of the black leopards - and there are several - within a 70 square mile radius."