The Sydenham Park Panther

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Beckenham Park had its Kangaroos in 2004. Does Sydenham Park have Panthers in 2005?

In the early hours of Tuesday 22nd March a man was attacked by a large animal in a garden behind these houses in Sydenham Park. His scratches were treated by a London Ambulance paramedic at the scene. There was much activity in the morning but the police have now closed down their active presence in the street and the RSPCA have withdrawn their support vehicles.

Early reports that a Panther may have escaped from a nearby Circus have been discounted. Zippo’s Circus in Lewisham no longer uses big cats in its acts and certainly has not lost one.

Of course some people in the area do keep large ferocious and unusual pets so we await to see if there are anymore sightings or other developments.

This is the Metropolitan Police report:

We are asking the public to be vigilant following an alleged sighting of a large cat-like animal in the Sydenham area of London. At approx. 02:18 this morning (22.3.05) we were called to an address in Sydenham Park, SE26 after a member of the public called police stating that they had seen a large cat-like animal.

Police attended the location and one police officer believes they saw a large black cat-like animal approx. the same size as a Labrador dog. It is believed the man was in his rear garden when he saw the animal, which then scratched him causing minor injuries. The man then retreated back inside. He has been treated by LAS staff at his home.

Local officers are carrying out patrols of the area. Specialist advice and assistance is being sought from the RSPCA and London Zoo. Enquiries are being made to trace exactly where the animal may have come from.

We are advising the local public if they see the animal, do NOT approach it and to report it to police using 999 and to keep any pets in doors.

RSPCA & ITN Tonight investigate …
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The copse – the scene of the confrontation
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Town Forum comment here

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