THE Beast of Bucks has returned to High Wycombe once again after the mysterious creature was spotted by a dogwalker in the town.

For years locals have reported brief glimpses of a large cat, believed to be a puma, stalking the area.

The latest sighting came last week, after a Wycombe man got a shock while out walking his dog on The Rye when he spotted the animal.

Danny Latham-Symes, of Colbourne Road, was by the river near London Road, last Saturday evening at around sunset.

Mr Latham-Symes told Midweek: "My dog stopped in his tracks and stood dead still. His eyes were fixed on the tree line on the opposite bank of the river.

"As I moved to where he stood, I too caught a glimpse of what I believe to be a mountain lion, which is more commonly known as a puma.

"She was crouched among some nettles, and she seemed totally oblivious to my presence. She was there for less than ten seconds and then wandered off into the thicker undergrowth.

"I would desperately like to know if anyone else has seen this creature in the Rye area, or anywhere in Wycombe and its surrounding woods and fields, for my own sanity more than anything else!"

In May 2001 animal experts confirmed that a large cat spotted at Wycombe Heights golf course was a young puma, after taking a cast of the animal's paw.

Two weeks later a half eaten deer was found off Gomm Road.

Then, in 2003, workers at the Ercol factory in Princes Risborough reported seeing a creature resembling a puma prowling across the edge of a field.

But even before then, since 1994, there have been reported sightings of "The Hughenden Puma," in the area stretching between Upper Dean and the northern outskirts of High Wycombe.

Many zoologists believe Britain has had a healthy population of jungle cats for years, but the numbers rose sharply in the 1970s when the Dangerous Wild Animal's Act forced many people to get rid of exotic pets.

If anyone has seen the legendary creature stalking the county, please contact the newsdesk on 01494 755081, or email