Report from Mike Inglis
CLAIMS THAT a big cat could be roaming parts of north-east Fife were further fuelled yesterday following another sighting in the East Neuk by a motorist.
The Levenmouth man, who was travelling to work in St Andrews, came face to face with the creature for several seconds on the outskirts of Upper Largo and has now reported the sighting to police.
Jack Carrie (55), a production controller in the bakery department at the town's Safeway store, said yesterday, "I have no doubt it was a big cat and it gave me quite a shock.
"It was in clear view for several seconds and appeared to be momentarily dazzled by my car headlights." Mr Carrie, who live in Centenary Court, Leven, described the beast as being almost three feet in body length and standing between 18 inches and two feet in height, with a long tail.
The animal was spotted by him at around 5.30 am on the A915 St Andrews to Upper Largo road.
"It stopped dead in its tracks when my headlights picked it out. It stared straight at the car for several seconds before it turned and disappeared into a roadside field," he continued.
"It was certainly not a large domestic cat or a dog and its sheer size gave me quite a surprise. It was smooth-haired and brown-coloured, with a round head, and its ears were flat to its head."
There have been more than 20 reported sightings of a panther-like big cat roaming in a 30-mile radius in north-east Fife in recent years, with reports suggesting it could be black, dark brown or fawn.
A number of sheep were killed near St Andrews in 1996, but tests by veterinary experts proved inconclusive. Last autumn, three men in Kilrenny reported seeing a panther-like animal while working in a park.
There have also been sightings on the outskirts of Cupar, Anstruther and as far away as Newburgh.
Cupar-based PC George Redpath said yesterday he was "very interested" in the latest reported sighting and appealed to any members of the public who may have information to contact him or their nearest police station.
Dundee Courier and Advertiser, 30 th April 1998
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