BASINGSTOKE residents have recalled their experiences of black panther sightings across Hampshire over the years.

The Gazette recently reported that a resident thought he may have captured a picture on his camera of a "black panther" running across a field in Basingstoke.

Henrik Winberg, 43, from Winklebury was walking his dog when he spotted a large animal in the field in front of him. 

He told the Gazette: "I was walking my dog around 5:30 up on Manydown farm. I was on the phone to my partner when I saw this black panther about 100 meters away moving fast."

Others have taken to social media to report their sightings of a black panther across the county.

Stephanie Carter, wrote on Facebook: "I saw what looked suspiciously like a black panther about 20 years ago in Bramley. My husband saw it too.

"Been around for years so obviously having young. Nothing unusual - hundreds of abandoned wildcats throughout the UK because dumping them is a damn sight cheaper than the licencing laws they brought in."

One claimed they saw a black panther 18 years ago.

And someone else said one was spotted eight years ago in Newfound, Oakley, and that their dog chased it in the woods.

In 2009, it was reported by the Daily Echo that there were 82 reported sightings of big cats across Hampshire.

Reports vary from a black panther-like creature which bizarrely “ran through school grounds” in Southampton in January 2003 to a beige puma which “bared its teeth aggressively” at Basingstoke train station in March 2004.

An average of 30 sightings were recorded every year in Hampshire over the last decade, according to the British Big Cats Society.

The Gazette has contacted RSPCA for comment.