Report from Reuel Chisholm
FORGET the beasts of Ballybogey currently at large in north Antrim, because
as these exclusive pictures show, it seems yet another big cat is roaming
The picture - which clearly shows a large black cat roaming in a field - was taken by a Dublin-based doctor who spotted the animal close to Slieve Bearnaigh in the Mourne Mountains.
Dr Brendan O'Donnell managed to capture the large black cat on camera in July, when he and his wife Jane were preparing to climb Slieve Bearnaigh.
And he is adamant that what he saw that day was no domestic creature.
Dr O'Donnell said: "I got out of the car first and I just happened to glance over a hedge into the field. It was a beautiful view and I was amazed this large black cat just sauntered across the field.
"It was totally unaware and oblivious to the fact I was watching and it seemed to know the terrain very well. It was following a very definite route, it went straight across the field and ignored some cows at the bottom of the field.
The doctor continued: "It was unbelievable. It was completely different to a domestic cat in the way it moved, which to me was like a hunter. It was completely black in colour and was bigger than a collie.
"The long tail, which can be seen in the picture, was incredibly distinctive. It was one of the most distinctive features and proved to me it couldn't be a domestic cat."
When asked if he felt in any danger in the presence of the big cat, Dr O'Donnell replied: "It showed no interest in me or my wife whatsoever. I didn't feel frightened of it at all."
The doctor of medicine admitted some people were sceptical about what he and his wife saw - until they saw the photographs. "Once they saw the photos, they were convinced", he said.
Belfast Telegraph, 30 th September 2003
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