Report from George Markie
Golfers in Monifieth were warned to be on their guard by a Monifieth resident who says she saw what she believes was a "wild beast" on the course yesterday.
Jennifer Cowper was walking her dog on a stretch of ground near the Ashludie golf course starter's box late yesterday afternoon when she spotted what she thinks was a large black cat.
Ms Cowper says she was able to watch the animal for a few moments before it disappeared into bushes.
She said, "I was walking my dog on the spare ground at Monifieth Golf Course and decided to have a seat in the sun.
"I looked over and saw a black panther about four foot in length.
"It wasn't very far away and I saw it clearly but I did have to look and look again to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me.
"It pranced up and down then went into gorse so I didn't see it for long but it was long enough.
"There were golfers off in the distance but I think they were too far away to have seen anything - but the golfers will have to watch now there is a wild beast on the loose.
"I'm excited about having seen it. I thought I was going mad for a while but then I realised that I was definitely seeing this."
Ms Cowper said she was only disappointed at not having had her camera with her as she usually carries it on her walks.
Sightings of large black cats are not uncommon in Angus or Monifieth for that matter.
In August last year a resident of the Fairway in Monifieth reported having seen a big black cat moving around in a field opposite the housing area which lies on the fringes of the town near the B962.
Further afield but still within Angus there have been several sightings.
Two occurred within a week of each other late last year with one taking place near Inverbervie and the other near Edzell.
But despite the fact there have been more than 25 sightings in Angus over the past five years no big cat has ever been captured in the area.
Experts believe the animals could be panthers, pumas or lynx.
The only explanation they can offer for the animals' presence in the area is the introduction of the Dangerous Animals Act in 1976.
It is believed that owners who did not want their animals to be put down instead decided to release them into the wild.
Police said they were not aware of the latest sighting.
Dundee Courier, 29 th March 2002
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