The notorious Black Beast appears to have made a return to the Harborough area after a new sighting of a panther-like creature was reported.
A black animal shaped like a medium-sized dog was seen near Lubenham on Sunday and Monday night.
It was spotted by James Voyce about half-a-mile outside Lubenham on the Laughton Road.
Mr Voyce said: “I was on my way home from work on Sunday night and driving down the Laughton Road away from Lubenham. I noticed something in the mid-distance in my headlights.
“I hit my brakes and realised it was a black panther.
“It shot across the road and then turned into a hedge.
“It was definitely a panther as I recognised the tail, which was long and curled upwards at the end.
“It was much larger than your average tabby and was more the size of a medium dog.
“I sort of froze and couldn’t believe I had seen it.”
Mr Voyce says he saw a similar creature about ten years ago along the same road.
Asked by the Mail whether it could have been a dog, Mr Voyce said: “I’m definitely sure it wasn’t a dog.
“I was close enough to it to see what it was and my high-beam headlights were straight on it.
“It was as black as the night sky.”
He said he saw the same thing the day after, adding: “I saw it again on Monday in the same road.
“It seems to be hanging around in the same spot.”
The incident is the latest in a series of sightings of ‘black beasts’ stalking the Harborough countryside which go back as far as the 1990s.
These include sightings at Kibworth, East Farndon, Foxton and Market Harborough.
The most recent was in Arthingworth in May 2012 when a report was logged to the Big Cats in Britain group, after someone saw a black beast with white patches on the front through a low- powered telescope.
Sightings are usually put down to pet leopards, pumas or panthers being brought into the UK illegally before being released or escaping.