Dead leopard on the A646 turned out to be ‘some tart’s coat’

Ben Lilly realised his mistake as he crept closer to the leopard-print onesie (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)
A father has said how he tentatively approached what he thought was a leopard in the road while driving through West Yorkshire.
Ben Lilly, 40, passed the spotty shape on the A646 near Hebden Bridge on Saturday morning.
Intrigued, he turned round to try and get a look at the animal up close.
He cautiously left his car, heart racing and fearing his face may be ‘ripped off’ by the fearsome beast.
But then his fear turned to embarrassment as he realised that it was just an abandoned onesie, complete with a tail.
Admitting his silly mistake on Facebook, Ben said: ‘Careful! Dead leopard in the road on way to Halifax! Oh no, it’s some tart’s coat from last night, can’t believe I turned back for this!’
Ben thought it was a leopard, but it later turned out to be a onesie (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)
He added: ‘My heart was racing with a kind of excitement. I thought “is this a big cat?” It would be an amazing thing to find.
‘I saw something in the distance as I was coming round the bend and slowed down, giving it a wide berth in case it was an injured animal.
‘As I passed it, I looked out the passenger’s window and saw the markings on it. It had the tail bit on it too, so it looked really real while I was driving.
‘I thought “wow”. You hear of these sightings of big cats and around the Halifax area, there have been reports before.
‘I spun round where I could, turned round and drove back along. I looked again – it looked real. I then parked behind it and looked from within the car.
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Ben described it as a ‘tart’s coat’ on Facebook (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)
‘I got out cautiously, because I didn’t want something taking my face off, but as soon as I looked at it from the other angle I started laughing.
‘I crept up with my phone out and as the angle changed, I felt like I was on candid camera. I was chuckling to myself. I started laughing then to save my own embarrassment.
‘I pulled up to a onesie. That explains the tail on it. At the time I thought it was a woman’s fur coat. I thought someone had had a good time and left their coat behind.
‘Living near the Pennines you do often see road kill in the road – foxes, badgers or the odd person’s pet.
‘When I came back later, someone had pushed it onto the pavement. A few people had commented saying they’d also seen it.
‘Other drivers were obviously thinking the same thing, but I was just silly enough to stop.
‘I made a joke [about the ‘tart’s coat’ which a couple of people might have thought was a little bit sexist, but at the time it had been a Friday night, it was Saturday morning and Halifax is a bit of a drinking town.’

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