Report from Chris Smith
Les Hester a photographer from Forres, Morayshire, was at a seminar at Knockomie House, on the outskirts of the town in 1995. The Highland cows in a field below the house became agitated, and Hester's group spotted a large tawny cat loping down the fence-line. "It was a puma-like cat, buff coloured and definitely not black. We were all amazed. The beast was feline and had a long sloping tail and muscular shoulders. It was easily as big as an Alsation."
One popular theory is that the beast seen by Hester and others is a Kellas Cat, a curious wildcat-domestic cat hybrid. Hester refutes this suggestion. Coincidentally he has photographed a dead Kellas cat for a local paper. "A Kellas cat is only a little bigger than a domestic cat. What I saw was far, far bigger. And the Kellas cat is black." If these sightings, and the dozens of others like them, are reliable then there are panthers, puma and at least one lynx living happily in Scotland.
12 th January 1997
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