Reoprt from Brain Godwin
During 1980, there were several puma sightings throughout Scotland, with the resultant disappearance of farm livestock. However. matters came to a head in October 1980 with the strange case of the Cannich puma.
Farmer Ted Noble grew so angry at finding his sheep mauled and killed by the puma, together with growing frustration at the authorities' failure to take the matter seriously, Noble set his own trap for the animal. He constructed his own cage, baited it with a sheep's head and waited. On October 29th, Noble realised that without a doubt. he had captured a big cat. He notified the press, who arrived en masse to photograph the beast, which was reported to be snarling and vicious.
The cat was identitied as a female puma and was transported, very carefully, by police to the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie. However, far from being snarling and vicious the animal was described by Head Keeper, Gary Batters as being very overweight and very tame. Batters added, it would seem that somebody had wanted to be rid of an unwanted pet and so released the animal. only for it to be captured very soon after.
The puma was christened Felicity and, by dint of her capture and the publicity surrounding it, became quite a celebrity in her own right. She was a firm favourite with visitors to the Highland Wildlife Park, where she remained until her death on 30th January 1985. In fact, Felicity can still be seen, her body was stuffed and mounted and now resides in the Inverness Municipal Museum.
The Felicity case has long been held to be either wholly or partly faked. Soon after Felicity was captured, it was reported that some eye witnesses had seen a puma in a cage being driven around the area in a pick-up truck, although this could have been prior to the animal's release. Strangely enough, reports of pumas in the Cannich area continued for a considerable time after Felicity's capture, which led some experts to express the view that Felicity's arrival was merely coincidental to the presence of a genuine wild colony of pumas in the area.
29 th October 1980
|Return to index||Return to Scottish Big Cats||Return to the Highlands||Return to 1980|