Report from Chris Smith
A HUGE cat was spotted in a hospital's grounds yesterday.
A police helicopter joined the hunt for the 5ft-long beast and sharpshooters with tranquiliser darts were put on standby.
Staff at Merchiston Hospital in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, raised the alarm after seeing the big cat on top of a rock.
Workers and patients at the hospital, which houses people with mental disabilities, were warned to stay inside the building.
A police spokeswoman said: "There were sightings of a large cat, thought to be a puma. Officers did a ground search and a helicopter scanned the area."
Four members of each claim to have seen the animal between 9am and early afternoon.
A spokesman for the hospital said last night: "They described a large tan or fawn coloured cat with pointy ears.
"It was said to be 5 ft-long from head to rear and about three-and-a-half to four feet high. "
Daily Record, 4 th July, 2002
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