Report from Chris Smith
29 th October, Cannich, Inverness-shire.
Meanwhile Ted Noble had been laying bait around the hillside in the area of Miss Chisholm's cottage. Some of the bait seemed to have been taken, so he erected a trap with a sprung door that was connected to a sheep's head inside the cage. On 29 October he appeared to have been successful, for he reported having caught a fully grown female puma. However, a lot of controversy still surrounds the capture. The animal, aged around ten years and weighing approximately 80 lb, is apparently completely tame. Eddie Orbell, in charge of the Highland Wil Life Park where the animal now is, stated that in his opinion it had never spent as long as thirty minutes in the wild. As one person said at the time, it was just a great big pussy cat that liked its head scratched. It refused to eat an unskinned rabbit and would only take prepared food. All experts agree that this puma could not possibly have been responsible for the sheep killing in the area. Also, it had obviously not lactated recently, and many reports of sightings had mentioned cub-like animals. The general opinion was tha the animal had been put in the trap as an elaborate hoax, but just who was responsible and where the animal has come from is unknown. Detective Sergeant Cathcart knows Mr Noble well and doesn't feel that he was involved, rather that the joke was against him. Whoever was responsible, it certianly wasn't the poor puma that was responsible for the sheep killings or the sightings for those continued after the friendly animal was securely behind bars. Miss Chisholm stated that although the puma was about the same size as the black animal, she had not seen it before. Other witnesses were also shown the puma; they also agreed that the size was right, but all stated that the colour was not the same as that of the animals they had sighted.
29 th October 1980
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