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Doncaster Features: Bizarre Doncaster: Animal Stories

Who could claim that Donny is dull when it's full of strange people, events and behaviour...

Puma in Bawtry

from the South Yorkshire Police web site

On Saturday 5 August 2006, at 13.00 hrs, a caller who was a passing motorist from the Sheffield area, reported seeing a large black cat, believed to be a puma climbing a tree near to the Industrial Estate on Station Road, Bawtry, Doncaster. Police made an area search to no gain.

Big Cat prowling Armthorpe

16th-22nd June 1999, reported in local + national press + Fortean Times

On 16 June, Raymond Cibor, 45, was driving a fork-lift truck down a country lane at Seven Yards Farm, Armthorpe, when a mud-spattered tiger leapt from undergrowth, reared up on its hind legs, snarled and lashed out with its claws at the vehicle. He reversed as the feline roared and attacked the truck again before disappearing into a nearby copse.

"I could see its mouth open wide and its claws looked like razors," said the ex-soldier. "It was definitely a tiger, there is no doubt in my mind. It was about 6ft in length and 3ft high. It was orange and yellow with black stripes."

After studying big cat pictures on his computer, he concluded it was a Bengal tiger. The police found "fairly large paw prints", later identified by an expert as a dog's. There were no travelling circuses booked in the area and no nearby theme parks with any tigers (present or missing), so a police helicopter was scrambled to comb the area and an armed response unit put on alert.

As nearly always with these ABC searches, nothing was found. "We do not believe this was a hoax," said a police spokesman, "because the man was genuinely terrified." A week later, James Sutcliffe, 13, was left in tears after apparently coming face to a face with a tiger while cycling home in Auckley, only three miles from Seven Yards Farm.

Naked Goat Horror

13th November 1978, The Australian + Exploding Pigs

Naked coalminers fled in terror when a crazed goat went berzerk in their pithead baths at Cadeby Colliery. They scattered in all directions to avoid the beast's horns. When police arrived they found 30 miners outside the building, naked, cold and huddling in a doorway. The cops cornered the goat and took it back to its owner, who claimed children had let it loose.

Fishy Firestarter

9th June 1981, New Straits Times + Exploding Pigs

Benjamin Ward's goldfish bowl focused the morning sun's rays onto a set of dining-room curtains in the Ward's Doncaster home, igniting them and starting a fire which badly damaged the house. A fire officer said, "Th thick glass must have acted like a magnifying glass. It's a very unusual case, but there is no other explanation." The fish did not survive.

Christmas Pudding

Miss Amy T of Doncaster left £500 to the Doncaster Branch of the RSPCA, requesting it be used to provide dinners at Christmas for dogs in their care.

Sir Percival Cresacre

Story from legend

Legend has it that Sir Percival Cresacre, upon returning home sometime in 1475, was attacked by a huge wild cat in the area now known at Cat Hill. Both struggled for several hours as Sir Percival retreated towards the shelter of St. Peters Church in Barnburgh where both combatents died of their injuries. The church contains an old wooden effigy of Sir Percival and theres also a carving of the cat on the tower too. A stain in the porch is said to be the blood of the evil cat and no amount of scrubbing will efface.

If you've got a bizarre but true story we haven't covered here, please tell us

We're looking for new features, articles, and news stories written by budding Doncastrians - send to us here.

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