Report from George Markie
See Photo Album for photos of this location.
A big cat was spotted prowling dense woodland by a frightened motorist at rush hour this morning, just yards from a main road near Monifieth (writes Steve Yule).
Carnoustie man Ian Clark saw a giant cat-like animal roaming the undergrowth before it bolted into trees near Ashludie Hospital.
The car salesman was travelling into work around 8 am when, out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a black creature moving through thick bushes on the north side of the road.
Describing his experiences to the Tele, he said, "I was driving into work as normal when something just caught my eye near Ethiebeaton - I did not know what it was. To begin with I just thought it was a stray dog."
Startled and intrigued by what he had seen, Mr Clark slowed down to have a closer look.
"As I slowed down, I realised it was too big for a dog and it was jet black-that is what really caught my attention," he continued.
"Whatever it was, it was running gracefully through the undergrowth, arching its back while it ran. All of a sudden it changed direction and disappeared into the trees."
The graceful beast was described as being jet black, two feet high, with a long, slim body and large, piercing eyes.
Travelling the same road for over 20 years, Mr Clark admitted he had never seen anything like it in his life.
"It was the first time I have ever seen anything resembling a big cat and I half thought about stopping to take a closer look-but I quickly decided against it, as seeing it from the car was frightening enough, let alone coming face to face with it."
A "big cat enthusiast" from Dundee told the Tele these sightings are typical in and around Angus and Fife and also put forward his theory as to why so many big cats appear to be roaming the countryside.
He believes the introduction of the Dangerous Animals Act of 1976 encouraged people who kept such cats to release them into the wild, rather than have them destroyed.
The area where Mr Clark spotted the mystery beast is regarded as something of a hot spot for big cat sightings. In the past five years, over 25 sightings have been made in Angus.
18 th July 2001
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