Dad and young son flee after spotting 'puma' near beach on Llyn Peninsula

File photo of a puma. Credit: PA

A man and his son claim they had to abandon their beach barbecue after seeing a "puma" prowling nearby.

Jimmy Butler said he and his nine-year-old son saw a "brown or tawny puma" while setting up a barbecue on the beach near Gimblet Rock on the Llyn Peninsula two weeks ago.

It comes just weeks after a group of fishermen at the same beach spotted an animal matching the same description.

Initially, Mr Butler thought it was a large dog, but said he quickly realised this wasn't the case.

It's the second reported sighting of a puma in the area around Gimblet Rock in recent weeks. Credit: Media Wales

Having reported the sighting to Puma Watch Wales - a group which monitors reported sightings of the animal - Mr Butler said: "My lad grabbed me and said ‘what is that? is it a dog?’ When I looked I first thought ‘yeah’ but quickly realised this wasn't the case.

"I panicked and made a bit of noise to which the cat quickly disappeared. We left straight away.

"We got back to the car and there was a local about to go fishing and I told him what happened and he said he’d heard of four or five sightings of the same description in the last few weeks.

“A very surreal experience. I didn’t think they were even in this country!”

The previous alleged encounter on the beach, believed to be the first of its kind on the Llyn Peninsula, occurred around the same time earlier this month.

Recent studies suggest there have been more than 100 big cat sightings in 18 months across north and mid Wales.

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The history of big cats in Wales stems back to the 1970s, when it became illegal to keep them as pets.

Avoiding expensive rehoming costs, owners from across the UK travelled to places like Wales to release their cats into the remote environment, where small but significant populations have thrived ever since.