Terrified witnesses fled as the beast came within metres of them, seeming to appear from nowhere.
Warehouse worker Anthony Cooper, 42, told us: “It was around lunchtime. A lot of people are saying they heard something like a growl, but I didn’t.
“I heard a rustling noise in the bushes.
“As soon as I turned my head I could see something in the trees - a large black shape moving slowly.
“It was acting as if it couldn’t even see me. It just strolled past, at a distance of about ten feet, went into some thicker bushes and was gone. I called some more people over, but as I did, they ran over telling me what they had just seen. It was an eerie feeling.”
Eyewitness Claire Clarke, receptionist, said: “It was around midday. I was walking through the woods with my boyfriend, Carl.
“We were talking as we walked through the woods. All of a sudden I felt him let go of my hand and he shouted, ‘look!’”
Just ten feet away from them the black creature prowled past, as if it hadn’t even seen the shocked pair.