The legendary Beast of Bucks is believed to have made another appearance – with a terrified driver calling 999 after spotting a mysterious creature in the dead of night.

For years locals have reported brief glimpses of a large cat - believed to be a puma and dubbed the ‘Beast of Bucks’ - stalking the area.

The latest sighting was reported in Princes Risborough on November 30 by a panicked homeowner, who spotted a large animal prowling just metres from her home.

Paulo Nicolaides, who has dedicated his life to wild cat research after developing an interest in the mystery creatures when he was a young boy, reported the latest incident on his ‘Big Cats of the Chilterns’ blog.

He said: “On Friday the 30 of November one of Buckinghamshire’s Pumas became a reality for yet another person.

“Turning out of the driveway, only fifty metres from her front door seeing a fully grown Puma in the headlights. Staring clearly at a large predatory cat native to the Americas comes as a shock when living in Princes Risborough.

“The lady did what any other sensible person would do. Call the police.

“It takes quite a level of certainty to report such an instance to the local police however she is not alone. What would amaze most people is this sighting happened amongst houses within the town.

“One of the things that I did not expect when I started researching years ago was just how urban these sightings are.”

Thames Valley Police confirmed it was called to reports of a cat sighting in Princes Risborough but did not attend because it was “not a police matter”.

Sightings of the so-called Beast of Bucks have been circulating since 2001 when experts confirmed prints found on Wycombe Heights Golf Centre, in Loudwater, were those of a puma.

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.

Mr Nicolaides said he has personally received a number of reports of “very urban pumas” in Princes Risborough.

He said: “The cemetery of St Marys Church has seen two direct sightings come to my inbox in the past three years.

“I have had sightings from the local leisure centre and three from a local housing estate next to the brook.”