Report from George Markie
THE LATEST in a series of Angus big cat sighting was made last night on the fringe of Monifieth.
Little more than a month after a Carnoustie driver spoke of his encounter with a panther-type creature near the A92, police received a report of a similar animal in the same area.
Last night's sighting was reported by a resident of the Fairway who saw the animal around 7.30pm.
Described as a big black cat it was reported to be moving around in a field opposite the housing area lies close to the B962, linking Monifieth to the main Dundee-Arbroath road.
The animal soon moved off, but police said the person reporting the incident was sure what they had seen was very large and it seems likely that the sighting was only the latest in a long line of appearances-dating back a number of years-of a big cat.
In mid-July, car salesman Ian Clark spotted what he initially thought was a stray dog wandering yards from the main coastal route.
He slowed near the spot at Ethiebeaton to get a closer look at the animal and watched the, graceful, jet-black animal head off into bushes near Ashludie Hospital in the 8 am incident.
As with previous reports, the animal was around two feet tall, with a long, slim body and piercing eyes.
Mr Clark's experience is not unusual and the coastal strip, from Arbroath to Monifieth, is regarded as something of a 'hot-spot' for big cat sightings.
Experts believe the animals, are, either panthers, pumas or lynx and more than 25 reported sightings have been made in past five years.
Across the Tay, north Fife also seems to be a favoured hideaway for the animals many, of which are believed to have been released into the wild following the introduction of the 1976 Dangerous Animals Act by owners who wanted to see the cats go free rather than being put down.
However, despite the regularity with which the police receive reports of sightings no big cat has yet been captured in the area, either on film or in the flesh. Indeed no account of a sighting, which can come from any part of the UK, has been substantiated.
Dundee Courier, 25 th August 2001
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