Report from Chris Smith
I am a livestock farmer, farming in Angus, on the Sidlaw Hills about 9 miles north-west of Dundee. On Monday 21st May I found one of my best lambs had been killed. It was a single (as opposed to a twin) Suffolk cross lamb which was born during the last days of March and probably weighed nearly 20 kilos.
There was a large hole in the side of the lamb with the ribs and skin clean away and the liver and kidneys also missing. The lungs and heart were still present. there were a couple of scratch marks beside the hole in the side but otherwise no marks that I saw. The next morning I found another, smaller lamb which may have died of natural causes. All that remained of this lamb was the head, back skin,spine and two legs. This was approx. 250 mtrs from the first lamb in the next field. On the morning of 23 rd approx 200 mtrs north from the last lamb and 400 mtrs from the first, I found another one. This was another good lamb although not as big as the first. The head was missing with the throat and chest cleaned out and the heart and lungs missing. I saw no other marks on the carcase. There was no mess around any of these lambs. This lamb was in a field which had been cleared the day before and although it came from the group which had been in that field I am sure it had not been missed. This means that it had gone through two fences to where it was found. These fences have offset electric wires. This lamb and the first were both found at about 8.30 - 9.00 am and were still warm indicating that they were probably no more than two hours dead.
That evening, at dusk, my wife was in the garden and caught a glimpse of an animal which ran past her at a distance of about 4 mtrs. It was half dark and she only saw it for an instant, but described it as being larger than a cat but not quite as big as a full grown labrador, black with a short head very like the one on the caption on your website. Its legs seemed long for its size and there was a long thick rope-like tail straight out behind it as it shot through some gates and across a field. The house is about a mile and a quarter from where the kills were found. The following morning I found another carcase of a lamb with the head missing. This damage was at least one day old but I think I would have spotted it the day before if it had been where I found it, about 100 mtrs from the last but in the next field which had been cleared of sheep on the Monday. These fields are reseeded hill land and therefore not evenly surfaced. I do not know if this sounds to you like a big cat but if it isn't I would like to know what it is. I would welcome your observations on the above.
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