A big-cat sighting has been hailed as the best ever proof that the beasts really exist.
A former policeman based in west Wales spotted a “puma or panther-like animal” as recently as Wednesday.
The sighting, by Michael Disney, who now works for Pembrokeshire County Council’s Public Protection Division, is being treated as authentic.
While he gathered no photographic or other evidence, his sighting appears to give greater credence to the so-called big cat myth.
Stories of feline beasts living in remote corners of the UK are so common there is barely a region of the country without one.
From the Beast of Bodmin in Cornwall to sightings all over the north of England, such stories are common rural legends.
The latest sighting comes days after the government environment watchdog for England dismissed the existence of big cats.
Experts with Natural England they were confident no breeding populations of big cats exist in Britain.
Pembrokeshire Council begs to differ and is so convinced by Mr Disney that it is urging the public to report any sightings.
Mr Disney’s encounter happened in broad daylight in countryside six miles north of Haverfordwest, near Treffgarne village.
He was driving his council car on a single track road at 15mph when a large black “puma or panther” crossed five metres in front of him.
“I immediately stopped my vehicle and stared at this animal.
“It had a large cat-like head, muscular build and was approximately three feet tall,” he said.
“It was bigger and more muscular than a German shepherd dog. I had a clear, unobstructed view of the animal and the visibility was excellent.
“The animal was in my view for fully five to six seconds, the time it took to cover the width of the road and then dis- appear into the undergrowth at the side.”
He called in at a local farm soon after and was told that a large puma-like animal was nearby a few weeks earlier.