A RUNCORN angler has added his voice to the growing weight of reports which suggest a large predatory cat may be roaming remote areas of Halton.
Steven Crabb, 44, claims other anglers have also seen the beast and do not doubt its existence.
He said last summer he was fishing near Norton Priory with his 10-year-old son at 3am when he heard rustling.
He said: 'I heard a noise coming from the bushes about 12ft away from my tent and something big jumped out onto the path.
'I shone my LCD head torch on to the path and to my fright I saw it was a black panther.
'As my light hit it, it looked right at me, so I turned it off right away.
'I couldn't move an inch. The panther walked to the edge of the water, had a drink, then walked slowly away along the edge of the reeds.
'My wife didn't believe me, but it had been raining so I took her to see where the panther was and there were paw prints in the mud at the edge of the water which were too big to be a dog's.
'I told a few fishing friends who also didn't believe me. But within a few months at least three of them saw it and now they do - thank God!'
* Have you seen the big cat prowling around the area? If you have e-mail email@example.com with your story.