Report from Reuel Chisholm
A Tax adviser out for a morning walk claims he came face to face with a
The Westhill dad-of-two stumbled on the beast a stone's throw from the area's Cairnie Woods where several recent sightings have been made.
David Allan, 56, who lives in the suburb with his wife Luisa, 50, and Aberdeen College student sons Paul, 22, and Michael, 19, said he was out walking at Skene on a Saturday morning when the incident happened.
"I was on the pavement walking from Skene School towards Kirkton of Skene.
"I am interested in trees and I walked across the road to look at what I thought was an oak tree.
"I startled a creature, about 15 yards away from me.
"It was big, black, slightly smaller than a Labrador dog and certainly bigger than any domestic cat."
Mr Allan, who works for city firm Ritson Smith in Carden Place, believes what he saw was a panther.
He said: "There was a natural grassy bank behind which it was hiding.
"The bank itself was about 3ft high and for me to see the cat it must have been about 2ft off the ground.
"As I got closer I startled it and it moved off across the field, but it moved like a cat."
The August 30 incident is one in a series reported to the Evening Express.
The panther-like beast has been seen or heard at least five times in the past four weeks.
And it is believed the creature, dubbed the Cairnie Cat, has been devouring deer at the beauty spot.
One man - who did not want to be named - claimed he had a terrifying twilight encounter with the animal while he walked his two lurchers through the woods last month.
He described hearing a terrible roar which made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.
His dogs bolted and were later found trembling with fear.
Helen and Drew Riach, and their six-year-old daughter Jennifer, live near the woods and have also heard what they think is a roar.
And another resident, Veronica Cook, claims she spotted the beast slinking across a field near the woods five years ago.
Veronica, co-owner of Westhill Limo hire firm Hollywood Cars, described the animal as "dark and sleek like a panther."
Aberdeen Evening Express, 20 th September 2003
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