An animal group claims that two female pumas have been released into the countryside.
Kent Big Cat Research says it cannot say where the animals have been let loose so that hunters will not be alerted.
Wildlife expert Neil Arnold said: “We have established that both animals are young and healthy, and also prove that people are still able to obtain such animals which in turn will bolster the abundant population that already roams the county.
“The two cats released will certainly be used to humans, but should anyone come in contact with any kind of large, exotic cat they should not approach, but neither run, but instead back of slowly.”
Kent Big Cat Research claims it has received more than 65 eye-witness reports of large cats ranging from black leopard to lynx this year.
Mr Arnold added: “During our investigations we are still uncovering numerous pens and illegal enclosures where large cats were once housed and also released so this recent incident is by no means nothing new.”
Pumas – native to the USA where they are also called cougars – measure up to five-feet in length and have a fawn or tan coloured coat and a long tail with a black tip.
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