Readers have reacted to the founder of the ‘Big Cats in Cumbria’ Facebook page, Sharon Larkin-Snowden, after she claimed to have received 12 reports of big cat sightings in the past year.

A Freedom of Information request to Cumbria Constabulary revealed the force had been made aware of nine sightings in the county since 2016.

Gwen Fallon said: “I seen a black one in my garden the other week if I had my phone with me I’d of took a picture so people believed me my dog was going mental to get out the big cat was just sat there looking in the window it was the size of my dog, I know it’s hard to believe and people probably won’t believe me just wish I had my phone so could take a picture of it.”

Stella Ryan said: “Looks like our Sooty’s gone out again.”

David Armstrong said: “Saw one in 2005, was walking our dog along Cavendish Dock road heading back to town, reached the bend (looks like a sub station on the left), big cat crossed the road about 50 metres in front of us... luckily our dog didn’t see it.”

Jan Oconnor said: “When I worked at The Owl Centre in Ravenglass, several people said they had seen a black panther type animal. Who really knows?”

John Lamb said: “A joiner I knew spotted a large black cat near Windermere about five years ago. It made the Westmorland news.”

Frank Watson said: “It’s funny how all the photos are blurred that you see.”

Roy King said: “Someone should leave a saucer of milk out for it.”

R Andy Blythe said: “Just looks like a tabby overfed on Dreamies.”

Paul Goulder said: “I saw a kangaroo with a shark's head jumping over a horse that had a whale's tail. I couldn’t get a picture because clearly cameras haven’t evolved since 1890 to get a clear enough photo.”

Sarah Gray said: “Looks like a fat sheep?”

Dean Bradley said: “It’s a house cat unless the tracks are made by Boeing 747.”