EXPERTS are once again on the trail of a big cat said to inhabit the north east Fife countryside after three sightings were reported in the space of a week.
The elusive creature - said to resemble a black leopard - was spotted in woodland near Kilmany by three witnesses, all of whom were ‘mesmerised’ by its four foot long tail.
And a spokesman for the research group Big Cats in Britain says he has ‘no doubt’ that the sightings were of the genuine article.
Now the group are to carry out investigations in the area to see if they can finally track down the beast.
Bob Wallace, central Scotland co-ordinator of Big Cats in Britain, said that several ‘significant’ sightings had been reported since a newspaper story appeared about a St Andrews man’s close encounter with the big cat two Saturdays ago.
The man had been driving along a C-class road towards the A92 near Kilmany when the creature emerged from the undergrowth about 500 metres in front of him.
He described it as a ‘black leopard’ about a metre in length and height, with a tail as long again.
In the early hours of the next morning, a man living in a remote location about a mile away was awoken by a low, gutteral growl followed by a blood-curdling squeal that he put down to the creature killing a deer or other wildlife.
And it has emerged that just two days earlier a driver travelling down the A92 saw a black leopard-like creature just eight to 10 feet away.
“These are not the first reported sightings of this big cat,” said Mr Wallace.
“Another driver told us he was travelling down the A92 from Dundee one Saturday when he saw it, and the description he gave was the same - black, about four feet long, with a long tail and rounded ears on the side of its head.
“Around 90 per cent of sightings are not big cats, but these latest reports are very convincing and there is a very good chance it is the same one.”
Anyone who believes they have spotted a big cat is asked to contact Mr Wallace on 07936 719909 or e-mail email@example.com