Over several years there have been numerous reports of a giant large black cat in the Moray area of North East Scotland. This non native species is referred to as an alien big cat, or ABC. For example STV – the
Scottish independent television channel - has reported on sightings in Forres, Lossiemouth, Lhanbryde, Aberlour, Dufftown, Duffus and Elgin.
The sightings include a large black cat seen from 200 yards away with footprints found in the spot afterwards, a sighting from a primary school which was subsequently investigated by the police and a number of large paw prints found by members of the Big Cats in Britain Group.
And now in mid May the news services are full of reports of a walker finding the body of a big cat in the area. John Robertson found the remains at Cullen and fortunately he had a camera with him. Robertson had been walking with his wife when he came across the remains which he described as "a seriously big cat ... at least twice the size of a large domestic cat ... with a tail about 18 inches long". The Big Cats in Britain group felt it was too small to be a proper ABC but it could be a cub. And when we look at the photographs the first does look cat like.
Until we look at the whole body.
The whole picture shows an animal that looks to all the world like an otter.
Otters are of course native to the area and whilst not common they are there. So we do have sightings of an ABC from the area but this one isn't it.
And just in case you're wanting proof of ABC's (not a black panther type this time) in the area how about this
This is Felicity the puma, caught at Cannick in 1980 and now on display in the Inverness Museum.