Photo: Wikimedia Commons

For the fifth time this year, a mountain lion (also known as a cougar or puma) has been spotted in Hertfordshire sparking fresh concerns for the county.

It comes after a 30-year-old woman, who didn't want to be named, claimed that she saw a beige 5ft-long cougar while she was driving home through the cathedral city of St Albans.

Speaking to the Sun, she said :"I had never seen anything like it. The body was long and quite skinny. The tail was really long and it wasn't bushy like a fox and it had a funny stump at the end."

This is just the latest big cat sighting in the city after taxi driver Jahid Choudry spotted a similar big cat.

Footprints matching those of a cougar were found six miles away in a golf club bunker.

And back in January, police were involved in a high-speed race to Oaklands College after two workers made a similar sighting of a "large sandy-coloured big cat with a big tail" around the campus.

A freedom of Information request to Hertfordshire Police revealed that between 2010 and 2015, there had been 26 such sightings of big cats in the area.

The cougar is native to the Americas and is an ambush predator. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but have recently been increasing in North America as more people enter their territories.

Police in the area warned that if anyone sees a big cat, they should keep a safe distance away and call 101.

St Albans
St Albans city centre Wikimedia Commons