Fresh big cat sighting near Edzell

A fresh sighting of the big cat said to be roaming Angus has been reported to police.

The animal was sighted between the A90 and the Edzell to Fettercairn Road and was reported to Grampian Police and the British Big Cats Society.

Dorothy Pert of Edzell Woods was in the car with her husband when the cat crossed their path. There were other sightings near Benholm Mill and Auchenblae.

She said: “There are 144 houses in the area, many with dogs, and a large play area that is not fenced off in any way. I think people have to be informed what’s going on.

“I think if it attacked, you wouldn’t stand a chance against it.”

Sightings of big cats have been reported across Courier Country for years, with most centred on the countryside of Angus and North-east Fife.

Angus man Neil Wood came face to face with the region’s big cat while approaching Edzell in 2001.

He saw the panther-like beast lying on a drystane dyke at the side of the road. He slowed his car to get a better look and says the animal, about four feet long, rose on to all fours and jumped from the dyke before disappearing into the woods.

Mr Wood also made a sighting at Luthermuir.

There was also a report of a large black cat approximately one metre high made to police in 2008 on woodland near Edzell.

In 2011 fresh evidence of a big cat roaming Angus emerged after a councillor’s sighting of a large creature in woods near Brechin.

Donald Morrison was on his way into Montreathmont Forest, between his home near Letham and Brechin, when a black creature he is sure was a big cat crossed his path.

Mr Morrison was on his way to walk black Labradors Cuillan and Holly on a regular route in the sprawling woodlands when the encounter took place.

Several other readers have come forward recently to give their own accounts of seeing big cats in the Angus countryside.

Gillis McLean, from Friockheim, described seeing an “inky blue” creature at the entrance to Crombie Park, not far from Newbigging.

Lorna Maud, from Arbroath, said she had seen a similar animal on four occasions in the Carmyllie area.

Carnoustie resident Stuart Davis said he had seen what would appear to be a puma or jaguar twice in the same field two or three years apart.

The readers’ accounts are backed up by big cat expert George Redpath, from Balmullo.

Mr Redpath, a retired police officer, became interested in the phenomenon after receiving reports of sightings while serving in the force.

He has seen four in the 30 years he has been investigating them.

A plausible but anecdotal explanation is that individual animals escaped or were set free by private collectors after changes in the law made it more difficult and expensive to keep exotic pets.

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