Big cat spotted crossing Dundee Road|Mark North||09/28/05 at 09:17:38|Mark_North|xx|0||A Dundee woman got the shock of her life when she spotted a big cat
darting across one of Dundee's busiest roads, writes Stefan Morkis.
Coleen McLaren was returning from Prestwick Airport in the early
hours of Monday morning when she and her travelling companions saw
the animal.
They were just at the Riverside Recycling Centre at 2.30 am when the
large black animal ran in front of their car and towards the houses
on the other side of the road.

"It was probably larger than a Labrador," said Coleen.

"It all happened so fast it went across from one side of the road to
another so quickly.

"It definitely wasn't a normal cat and it didn't move like a dog - it
was very lithe in the way it ran across the road."

Coleen had been on holiday in Gran Canaria with her husband Stuart
and their friends Lucy Paterson and Stephen Grant and all of them,
except for Stuart, agreed they had seen a big cat.

"My husband didn't see anything but everyone else had the same
reaction," said Coleen.

"We were all saying what was that. It was definitely a big cat."

Big cats have been spotted across the UK, with Fife one of the
country's most famous hot spots for sightings - with more than 300 in
the past 10 years.

On the other side of Dundee there were several sightings of a
mysterious big cat on the outskirts of Monifieth.

Many believe the increase in the number of big cat sightings over
recent years is due to the introduction of the 1976 Dangerous Wild
Animals Act.

This banned people from keeping large predators as pets unless they
applied for a licence and made sure their animals' enclosures were a
certain size.

It is believed that rather than rehousing the animals, or having them
put down, many owners simply released them into the countryside.

Although animals such as leopards only have a lifespan of around 20
years, it is believed that animals released into the wild
individually may have been able to trace each other using their
incredible sense of smell and breed.

Evening Telegraph and Post 27/9/05