Report from Chris Smith
Report from Phil Crosby
I spoke last night with Dorothy Caston, who left a message last week on the guest book.
Dorothy lives at Foveran in Aberdeenshire, just a few miles away from Insch where DM lives, which is what prompted her to contact us.
1. March 2000, she saw a large black cat one morning - around 7 am , clear bright morning, watched through binoculars as animal meandered along the edge of the field for around half a mile, passing through gorse before disappearing into moorland. She describes the animal as being black, similar in size to a large dog but the body appearing relatively longer, with a very long tail curling down to the ground. Legs appeared shorter, but overall impression was of great muscularity. Viewing her own dog at similar distance afterwards she remarked on how "puny" her Labrador appeared by comparison. She went down the field shortly afterwards with her dog, who was very excited by the scent of the animal, but could find no prints to photograph/cast. Dorothy also had a cat disappear in mysterious circumstances a few weeks previous to this, but no way of linking the two incidents.
2. A friend of hers saw an animal several years previously up by Maud but she couldn't give me details, and additionally a couple saw an animal in early 90s up by Newburgh. Insufficient detail to record as a sighting.
3. She also has a friend who's horse was attacked by something a couple of years ago - something had jumped on horses back and left what she describes as raking wounds down the flanks, neck and whithers. A vet who treated the animal apparently said it looked as if a cat might have attacked it - she is contacting her friend for further details and photographs if possible, as well as name of the vet - I will forward these when/if I get them.
She certainly seems a very credible witness - I very deliberately didn't prompt her on appearance so what she describes sounds like a melanistic leopard, although it is hard to call it a confirmed sighting. She was not aware that black leopards were uncommon (blame the media) and was initially disappointed that police/university etc were disinterested in her story, hence her relief at finding an outlet for her experience. She is happy to have the sighting posted with her name.
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