Report from Chris Smith
The third big-cat sighting in the North-east within a week was reported in Aberdeenshire yesterday.
This time the animal was described as being of a cougar-like appearance, and was seen prowling open land between Millbank and Tornaveen.
Alex Noble, from Banchory, only noticed the animal when he overtook a car parked at the side of the road, its owner staring at it through binoculars.
Mr Noble had been travelling from Inverurie to Torphins yesterday when he saw the creature, measuring about a 1 1/2metres from head to tail.
"I was driving past and there was just this person parked and he had binoculars," he said.
"I thought 'what a strange place to park' and overtook him. I was wondering what he was looking at then saw this animal like a cougar – it wasn't any kind of dog."
He said the animal was quite close to the ground before it made a quick sprint through a field to nearby woodland.
Mr Noble described the animal as being a light-grey/brown, with a long tail.
The sighting follows a further two which took place last weekend.
David Mitchell, of Kintore, was on his way home from Aberdeen on Sunday when he saw a large "cat-like" animal crossing the A944 a few miles past Elrick, at about 5.45pm.
He described it as being four or five times bigger than a normal cat. On the same day a woman reported seeing what is thought to have been a puma in a wooded area behind a Peterculter street.
The Press & Journal: May 12 th 2001
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