Dec 14 2006 Staff Reporter, Port Talbot Guardian
The black beast stalking the hills of Neath Port Talbot appears to have reared its head once again - this time close to Neath town centre.
The creature - similar to a big cat - was seen near Fairyland by a frightened resident.
David Rees, of Llantwit Road, who spotted the creature said: 'I have a garage in Idwal Street and was heading down there at about 6.30pm on Monday night.
'It was a dark night but I had a good flash light with me. All of a sudden I turned round and the creature was in front of me.
'It was like a fox but was jet black and had eyes as big as saucers.
'It frightened the life out of me and I froze at first. Then I shuffled my feet and luckily it ran off.
'I reported it to both the police and the environment agency.'
The sighting of the beast in Idwal Street comes a year after a spate of reports of a big cat roaming the borough.
An academic who has carried out research on big cat sightings, Alarick Smith, said it may have been a fox as there is a black species.
Although he said he always maintained an open mind and wouldn't disregard any sightings. 'People see what they see', Mr Smith said.
He confirmed that his research revealed evidence of big cats in the South Wales area but said he was unable to give exact locations for ethical reasons.
Mr Smith said: 'The evidence does come from South Wales, but nowhere near where we are talking about. They would probably be more along the coast.'