Report from Chris Smith
A WOMAN was attacked by a big cat in the North-east at the weekend - and has the bite marks to prove it, a friend claimed last night.
The creature was described as "a sleek black beastie" by the elderly friend who was walking with the middle-aged victim when the animal pounced.
It left bite marks along the woman's thigh.
Wilfred Simpson, 81, said it was the size of a labrador dog but with a long thin body and the motion of a cat.
"I could see her trousers were all torn and she had bite marks along the back of her leg," said the Insch pensioner.
He told how the unprovoked attack happened shortly after 7pm on Friday as they approached a steading outside the woman's home near Insch in the Glens of Foudland.
"The road was quite icy and I was following behind when I heard her scream and thought she'd fallen," said Mr Simpson.
"I saw a sleek, black beastie disappear around the corner of the stables. It was big, and when I asked her what was wrong she told me she had been bitten.
"She was quite upset so I drove her to the doctor in Inverurie so she could have it seen to."
Mr Simpson said the mystery creature was only scared off after the woman struck it several times with her car keys.
The attack had left her deeply shaken and wary of venturing out alone, he said. "I have spoken to her several times over the weekend and she has been quite badly affected by the attack. I think she's scared to go out on her own."
The woman, who does not want to be named, told how the animal grabbed hold of her upper leg and hip, ripping her trousers, and inflicting three puncture wounds to her thigh.
"It was a spur of the moment attack and I screamed out in pain," she said.
"The animal was very fast and came out of nowhere.
"It wasn't growling or anything so I don't think it could have been a dog."
The woman and her husband, who are in their 50s, said they later found evidence that the animal had been sleeping in the steading.
It is thought that the woman and Mr Simpson may have startled the creature as they unwittingly approached its lair.
The incident is the latest in a string of sightings of big cats in the Aberdeenshire area.
Last May, a big cat was spotted prowling open land between Millbank and Tornaveen, near Torphins in Aberdeenshire, and there were sightings the same week in Elrick and Peterculter on the outskirts of Aberdeen.
The following month, an Inverness engineer working in woods near Huntly claimed he saw a large, puma-like animal with a long tail which curled at the tip.
Last night a spokeswoman for Grampian Police at Inverurie said they had received a report that a big cat had been sighted in the Insch area on Friday night, but could not confirm there had been an attack.
Experts believe that some of the reported sightings are of Kellas cats, a cross between a domestic cat and a wildcat. They have been in the area for around 20 years and are of the size described by witnesses.
The Press & Journal: January 14 th 2002
|Return to index
|Return to Scottish Big Cats
|Return to Aberdeenshire
|Return to 2002