Police say '˜big cat' in Ayrshire isn't black panther

Police in Scotland have issued a clarification on a big cat sighting in Ayrshire after previously warning a black panther was on the loose.

Police Scotland said they received a report of suspected sighting of the panther at around 8.45am on Friday in fields near to the B730 road between the villages of Drongan and Coalhall, East Ayrshire.

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Residents were advised to be vigilant as officers attempted to trace the animal.

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A police helicopter was used to try and locate the big cat on Friday morning and an animal expert has been brought in attempt to confirm its identity.

However, a later comment from East Ayrshire police division confirmed that the animal expert was now unconvinced that the animal was in fact a black panther.

The force said in a statement: “Officers who have been investigating a number of reports of a large black cat in fields near to the B730 have been liaising with a big cat expert who does not believe that it is a black panther, however cannot yet confirm what type of animal it is.

“Enquiries are still ongoing to establish more information and members of the public are still asked to take care and not approach it if seen.”

A stock image of a black panther. Picture: PublicDomainPicsA stock image of a black panther. Picture: PublicDomainPics
A stock image of a black panther. Picture: PublicDomainPics

Alan Green owns an upholstery business which overlooks the fields where the panther sighting was reported.

He said: “I’ve not seen it personally but where it’s supposedly been sighted is just out the back of my workshop.

“I’ve seen the police helicopter up and roundabout.

“I’m not unduly concerned. When I first heard about it thought ‘a black panther here?’ but maybe it could be true.”