A RUMOURED sighting of two 'panther-like' cats in Oxfordshire has sparked a flurry of readers to get in touch, claiming similar experiences.

The news that the fabled 'Beast of Burford' has moved to the south of the county was apparently quickly verified yesterday by Radley-based Oxford Mail contributor Marc West.

He had his own run-in with a 'jet black' large cat after reading about the experiences of boater Michael Grainger who saw the beasts in Culham last week.

READ: Boaters spot two 'black panthers' by the river

Mr West was looking out of his front window at fields next to the river Thames when he spotted the animal 250 metres away.

He said: "It didn't look fully grown - more like a cub - but was still much larger than a domestic animal.

"We watched it walk across the field and then, as we went out to follow it, it disappeared.

"I've never seen anything like that before but my girlfriend saw something similar last year."

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The news that Mr Grainger said he spotted the two 'beasts' near Culham Lock when on his canal boat with his wife, elicited both fear and disbelief among other readers.

One woman said she saw a similar animal near Hook Norton a few years ago while another said she had seen the animal three times.

Others warned friends who like to go out walking in some of the areas affected.