IT won't come as a surprise to a few folk in Kirkheaton.
Or some people near Holmfirth. Or in Denby Dale.
But big cats really are prowling the British countryside.
That's the conclusion of experts who have looked closely at reported sightings of leopards, lynxes and pumas.
Their verdict will be no shock to people in villages around Huddersfield who have come face to face with the beasts.
In the most recent incident - towards the end of last year - an alsatian-sized black cat, thought to be a panther, was spotted in remote fields near Hade Edge.
Residents of Dunford Road saw the muscular feline, with a swishing tail, stalking through a field.
Witnesses who might have been condemned as fantasists can now gain some comfort from a survey by the British Big Cats Society.
It says there is "little doubt" the big cats are out there.
A 15-month survey recorded an average of four sightings a day in the UK.
Now, the society is calling on ministers to back a full, UK-wide scientific investigation into sightings of big or exotic cats in rural Britain.
Between January of last year and last month there were 2,052 sightings reported to the society - 127 of them in Yorkshire.
The study unearthed video and photographic evidence, plaster casts of paw prints and reports of attacks on horses and sheep.
British Big Cats Society founder Danny Bamping said
his society would like any national survey to focus on the South-West, which had 21% of the sightings.
Last December's reports of a panther at Hade Edge was followed by claims that the same animal had later made its way to the Saddleworth area. A Greenfield farmer described a creature with bright orange eyes and said he may have hit it with gunshot.
A shooting magazine offered £1,000 for evidence that the animal existed. But tales of the cat fizzled out and the cash is unclaimed.
Observations have not been limited to rural areas. There have been seven recorded sightings of big cats in London during the period.
Big cats are believed by some experts to have bred after many were released following the Dangerous Animals Act of 1976.
Panthers can weigh up to 14 stone and cover 60 to 70 miles a day.
* The society website, where sightings can be reported, is www.british bigcats.org