An animal expert claims big cats spotted prowling Britain's moors are actually Black Foxes - with as many as 400 roaming the countryside.

Former zookeeper Hayley de Ronde - founder of Black Foxes UK - says that the cat-like behaviour of the canine could hold the key to sightings across the country.

The number of the rare melanomistic foxes is growing in the UK as they breed with regular red foxes.

She believes these are responsible for an accelerating number of black wild cats being reported. 

The wildlife expert said: 'People didn't know about them originally and over the years I think a lot of those experts might not have made the same assessment and they might have accurately IDed a melanistic or silver fox.

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