Report from George Markie
In late July the 'puma' returned to its Ayrshire haunt. After being seen several times in the Holmston district of Ayr itself, SSPCA Inspector Robert Dunbar saw it for himself.
He said: "It has all the characteristics of the puma family. Without doubt it is the largest cat I have come across...his body length is about four feet."
Witnesses agree that the puma-like animal is big and black.
Then, about 1st August, Sharon Sloan, 18, and her neighbours saw it several times in the back gardens of Glencairn Road.
Pictures of a large cat were shown to the director of Calderpark Zoo. Scottish zoo-keepers are just as conservative as their English cousins- he said it was an ordinary domestic cat. To be fair their is no real indication of scale in the picture, and any cat looks smaller when hunched in a defensive posture.
Inspector Dunbar was undaunted - he planned a safari. But before he got very far a girl on a pony was frightened into a 'near hysterical' state by a large black animal that fitted the description of the creature.
Casts of paw prints spanning four inches across were taken and they appeared to match those taken from the Dundonald area of the same county during a 'puma' hunt there last year.
Glasgow Herald 6 th and 8 th August and Weekly News 11 th August 1979
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