Scotland: Fife: spate of big cat sightings|graham_inglis||11/06/03 at 19:36:08|graham_inglis|xx|0||Another big cat sighting in field
Dundee Courier, Fife / Scotland
Gordon Berry - Nov 04.03

A quiet walk in the woods near the town of Ladybank yesterday took on a whole new meaning for retired electrician Andrew Smith.

The 64-year-old from Glenrothes has become the latest in a long line of people who have become convinced that the north-east Fife countryside is home to one or more "big cats."

Andrew contacted The Courier to say that he had been out with his labrador Corrie and Jack Russell terrier Jodie in woodland lying beside the minor road leading from Pitlessie to Ladybank when the incident occurred.

"I was quite close to the railway line and making my way back to the car when I saw a large black animal. It was definitely not a dog but had a long tail and ran very quickly.

"I quickly put the leads on the dogs, and the animal, which moved like a panther, was only about 20 metres away. It came from an open field and I quickly lost sight of it."

Andrew said that as he was preparing to leave he had spoken to a local woman
who said that she had found a fox torn to pieces in the same area recently.

He said that he had seen many stories in the papers about "big cats" but had
always been unsure about whether there was any truth to them.

"I always wondered why no one ever had a camera when these sightings were made and why there were no phographs, but in my case the whole thing was over in seconds."

George Redpath, of Balmullo, who collates sighting of the cats, said there had been several other reports from the same area over the years.

He said that he had received another report from someone who saw a dark brown coloured cat-like animal beside the Balmullo to St Michaels road at the weekend.

George can be contacted on 01337 870026 if anyone has a sighting to report.
||11/25/03 at 15:10:39|graham_inglis Re: Scotland: Fife: Another big cat sighting|graham_inglis||11/25/03 at 15:08:34|graham_inglis|xx|0||From The Courier (Tayside and Fife): 8 Nov. 2003
"Big cat" reports rise
By Michael Alexander

A RETIRED police officer who collates sightings of Fife's legendary but elusive "big cats" has received 14 new reports of sightings since an article, highlighting a recent incident at Ladybank, appeared in The Courier earlier this week.

George Redpath, of Balmullo, revealed yesterday that he has been "inundated" with calls since it was reported on Tuesday that Glenrothes man Andrew Smith had become the latest in a long line of people who have become convinced that the north-east Fife countryside is home to one or more of the big cats.

George said all but one of the latest reports were recent sightings and included one at Muirhead outside Dundee, and areas near Kirkcaldy, Tayport, Denhead, Dunfermline, Letham, Kingskettle and Ladybank.

But interestingly, he said, another report of a "brown cat like creature" had come in from the Balmullo-St Michaels area, reported on the same day he was investigating the recent case of an alleged attack on a deer within the perimeter fence at RAF Leuchars.

"In an ideal world if we had exact details of every sighting we could plot the appearances of the big cat. If it was spotted at 2 pm in Dunfermline and 2 pm in Cupar, for example, we would know that there might be more than one creature.

"I am particularly interested, though, in several recent reports of a large dark brown feline creature, rather than usual reports of it being black. That, indeed, could suggest that there is more than one animal on the loose."

Regarding the incident at RAF Leuchars when a deer carcass was found, which may or may not have been mauled by another creature, George said there was no conclusive answer on the cause of death but he "can assure it was not hit by a vehicle."

With a file now in his possession containing hundreds of reports collated since he had his own sighting of a "big cat" while working as a Fife police officer in 1999, he said there was "no doubt" in his mind that the creatures were on the loose.

He said it was interesting that many of the people who had got in touch with him had been sceptics but they too were now convinced that there was something out there.

Yesterday George made a fresh appeal for anyone with information about sightings to contact him on 01334 870026.|| RAF Leuchars airbase alert (Nov)|graham_inglis||12/12/03 at 14:10:50|graham_inglis|xx|0||BIG CAT SCARE AT AIR BASE Nov 14 2003

A BIG cat alert has gone out at an air base after the savaged carcass of a deer was found close by. Staff at RAF Leuchars in Fife have twice reported seeing a black cat-like animal patrolling the grounds of the base late at night and after first light in the morning.

Yesterday, a source said: “The deer carcass showed all the hallmarks of the animal being killed for prey.”
|| dark brown feline near Kelty|graham_inglis||12/22/03 at 19:17:33|graham_inglis|xx|0||Big cat mystery deepens

A recent sighting of a large, dark brown feline animal near Kelty has deepened the mystery of the Fife’s “big cat” phenomenon.However, this time the enigmatic creature may have left more than its paw prints.

The couple who spotted the cat claim it was responsible for mauling 18 chickens at their farm by Blairadam Forest.

John and Patricia Getley recently saw the animal from their living room window, 11 days after finding the remains of a “massacre” in the hen house.

Mrs Getley said she saw the cat from about 100 yards distance in the field outside and watched it for around five minutes.

Both Mr an Mrs Getley are convinced it was the animal that attacked their hens.

Mrs Getley said, “Some of the chickens had no heads and there were feathers everywhere.

“The chickens have been the target of foxes before, but the last time it happened the fox only took the one bird. We’ve never had all the birds killed in one go.”

Mr Getley said the amount of feathers lying about made it look like the animal had toyed with its prey before killing it, adding weight to the theory that a cat was responsible.

His wife continued, “I couldn’t tell what it was, but it certainly wasn’t a domestic cat or a Scottish wildcat.

“It was a very dark brown colour and had a very big, curving tail.”

It was the first time the couple had seen one of Fife’s “big cats” near their home, despite knowing for some years that something might be lurking nearby.

Forestry commission staff working in the area had mentioned the possible presence of a big cat in the vicinity 10 years ago.

Retired police officer George Redpath, of Balmullo, who collects information about big cat sightings in Fife, said there was no way of identifying the cat until it is caught.

He said, “There have been sightings of cats in Blairadam Forest for years. However, it would only be speculation to say what kind of cat is in the area.

“People have said in the past there could be leopards about, but the dark colouring suggests there could be pumas.”

The carnage that Mrs Getley found in the hen house fits in with a big cat’s eating habits.

Mr Redpath continued, “It is consistent with big cat behaviour for them to keep killing after the have finished eating. They may even eat only one or two of the birds they have killed.

“Also, if the cat knows there’s an easy meal available it will come back for more.

“One lady in Cupar had her stock of peafowl almost wiped out because the cat kept coming back.”

Sceptics who believe big cat sightings are nothing but a myth should look at the statistics, according to Mr Redpath.

He added, “I have hundreds of statements from people who have seen big cats in Fife. This year alone there have been 200 sightings.”||