Report from Ronnie Patterson
He recalls. "The animal was about twenty inches high with a long body and a tail measuring about three feet. It was dark grey in colour and I noticed a dark sheen along its back. As I watched, the animal neared the sheep, moving very stealthily crouching down on its forelegs. The sheep moved away and it lay down where it had been. Its large rounded ears lay back on its head and its jaw constantly opened and closed. I have never seen an animal with such a deep jaw, the way it studied the sheep I was sure I was going to see a kill. I was less than forty feet away and I had a very good view, but as I am not all that quick on my feet, I thought by the time I warned anyone it would be away."
Mr Catleugh had hoped that a car would pass so that he could ask the driver to inform the police, but none did. After about an hour the animal walked away, Mr Catleugh told the farmer, Gavin Hamilton, who called the police and the SSPCA. The area was searched but without success.
A few days later, a monk at the nearby Nunraw Abbey reported that he had seen the animal run across open fields. Mr John Williamson of the SSPCA was certain that a puma was at large, he then said: "A sheep was killed last weekend and I have not seen a carcass like that before. Previous evidence linked to the latest story makes me believe that a puma is in the district."June 1982
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