Manchester holidaymaker claims to have spotted ‘PUMA’ near North Wales beach

A holidaymaker on a trip to North Wales claims to have footage of a ‘puma’ close to a Llyn Peninsula beach. Having seen various different reports of big cat sightings near Gimblet Rock in Pwllheli, Nick Lachevre, originally from Manchester, who had visited the area in his motorhome, decided he wanted to catch the animal on film.

He had parked up near a lifeboat station across the road from Gimblet Rock and used a thermal monocular camera as he waited to see if he could spot the animal. Within minutes, he claims he caught the puma on camera. He also spotted large paw prints near Glan-y-Don beach, across the harbor from Gimblet Rock, earlier this year.

“It wasn’t massive, probably three times the size of an adult cat,” he told the Daily Post. “The other reports have said that the animal they’ve seen is a tawny, sandy color but this one was more grey.

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“I was parked near the old lifeboat station with the headlights and the engine off. I put the monoculars on and saw it straight away, walking along the dunes. Then I saw it walking towards me.

“By the time I managed to get my phone out of my pocket to take a picture it had gone but it was right in front of the van, maybe about 10 to 5ft away. It wasn’t quite the size of a Labrador but it was 100 per cent not a fox, I put my headlamps on and could see it had little pointy ears outlined in black.

The paw print Mr Lachevre says he spotted near Glan-y-Don beach in March

“It’s the perfect hunting ground because of all the rabbits. The headland connects all the way to Llanbedrog so it wouldn’t surprise me if it was up and down there. I’m adamant I’ll get a picture of it one of these days.”

Mr Lachevre now says he plans on coming back to the area over the coming weeks in the hope of seeing the animal again. This comes after three fishermen reported seeing a puma near the beach while night fishing in March.

This was followed by another sighting by Jimmy Butler and his nine-year-old son who say they both saw a “brown or tawny cougar” while setting up a barbeque on the beach. Then, last month, the discovery of an animal carcass in sand dunes in Pwllheli sparked rumors it may have been killed by a big cat.

When big cats were banned as pets in the 1970s, it was legal to release them into the countryside to avoid expensive rehoming costs. Owners from across the UK traveled to areas like Wales to release their cats in the remote environment, where small but significant populations have thrived ever since.

Puma Watch North Wales said that it is likely that the reduced levels of human activity during the pandemic has encouraged big cats to roam further from the hills into more populated areas.

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