Report from George Markie
A Startled dog-walker yesterday told how he was stopped in his tracks by a mystery "big cat" as he strolled through Aberdeen woodland.
The Bridge of Don man, who asked not to be named, was following a path through Parkhill Forest when he was confronted by the animal on Saturday morning.
The man claims the dark-coloured beast - which stood more than 2ft high and measured around 3ft in length - stood "stock still" for a number of seconds when they came face-to-face. To his relief, it quickly turned around and sprinted off across a nearby field.
Last night the man, an accountant, described his ordeal.
He said: "I was out as usual at the back of eight, walking the dog along a path in the woodland.
"At one point I looked up and about 75 yards ahead of me there was a big black cat standing in front of me.
"It was jet black. It was too small to be a deer and too big to be a dog. It just stood there, stock still, looking at us. It was quite scary.
"Then it about-turned and went back the way it came. When I got to the spot where it was standing, I saw it running across the field. It was terrifying - the hairs on the back of my neck were really standing up."
It is not the first time the man and his wife have spotted the animal - they have both seen it on two separate occasions.
The father-of-two said: "I have walked in that forest for years and years and there is lots of wildlife around. We've seen deer and foxes but this animal is definitely a cat.
"A couple of weeks ago I saw it briefly and a week before that my wife also spotted it but she thought it was her imagination.
"We thought no more about it until this weekend."
The sighting comes after a spate of incidents involving big cats were reported in the north-east late last year.
A creature matching the description of the animal seen in Parkhill Forest has also been seen on Pitmedden Road, Dyce.
Three bricklayers reported seeing the 4ft-long panther-like beast jump over a dyke.
Retired civil servant Eddie Mathieson also claims to have encountered the beast while driving to Inverurie from Dyce.
As he drove along a rural road, the cat ran across the road in front of his car.
Fran Lockhart of the Scottish Big Cats Trust said sightings of the animals were becoming more common across the country.
She added: "We are hearing of more and more sightings of big black cats in Scotland.
"There's plenty big cats out there but you have to be very lucky to see them."
© Press and Journal, 16 th February
|Return to index||Return to Scottish Big Cats||Return to Fife||Return to 2004|