Report from Chris Smith
The mystery surrounding big cat sightings in the north east deepened recently after the discovery of a creatures body left experts at loggerheads. There have been numerous sightings throughout the region over the years, but no carcass has been found - until now. A farmer thought he had solved the riddle when he found a dead giant cat in a ditch beside a busy road near Peterhead. But the discovery of the headless remains has left animal experts divided over exactly what kins of beast it is. Bill Duffus of Newton Farm, near Boddam, stumbled across the three and a half foot long creature on the Peterhead-Boddam road, beside the power station. It was around the size of a fox or a medium sized dog. He said: "I have never believed there are pumas or big cats of that nature in this area. "But if people saw this cat when it was alive, under the glare of headlights, they would have got quite a scare. "It would look big in that situation." The striped creature was buried close to the scene of its death. A number of locals went to Newton Farm to see the beast buried. Iris Durno of Boddam, took a snapshot of it. She said: "It was quite some size. I haven't seen a cat that size before." Mr Duffus said: "It wasn't like anything I have ever come across in these parts and we go shooting rabbits all the time." He added: "A lot of people have said they have seen a big cat and I hope this lays their minds at rest." Philip Crosby of the Scottish Big Cats Society said he was baffled after seeing the body. The chances of a cat that large being domestic were "one in a million", and the feline equivalent of an 8ft tall human being, he said. "I can't understand how it has been killed either. A fox normally removes the head of an animal but not in this way. "It has the colouring of a lynx, but the tail rules it out from being that straight away - lynx don't have tails. There is a breed of wild cat in the Peterhead area known as the kellas, but even for it to be one of them it would be unusually big. It's possibly a Scottish wild cat but really I can't be certain."
Nessie's Loch Ness Times 10 th August 2002 Issue No 292
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