An MoD dog handler has captured video footage of a big cat wandering across railway tracks in Argyll, BBC Scotland reports.
Pc Chris Swallow, a dog handler stationed at HMNB Clyde, Faslane, was helping a friend clear their garden when he spotted the “labrador sized” creature on the tracks.
“There were trains coming and going throughout the day and I was a bit concerned, but when I looked again I saw that the animal wasn’t moving the way I expected a dog to,” he told BBC Scotland.
“It was then I realised that what I was seeing was a big cat and I shouted on my friend to come and have a look. We were stunned.”
Pc Swallow raced to his car to retrieve his camera phone, and succeeded in taking some remarkable footage of the beast.
John Belshaw, pest control officer at the Faslane naval base, said: “I have had a look at Chris’s footage and have to say that I do not believe it is a domestic cat or a dog …. You can tell from the size of the track that it is much larger than a house cat.”
Shaun Stevens, of Big Cats in Britain, said “Knowing the width of the rail tracks in Chris’s video is 4ft 8.5in, the animal photographed by him is clearly in excess of 4ft and as such is certainly not a domestic cat. Initial first impressions are very exciting, as I think this could be one of the best pieces of footage of a big cat in the UK ever.”
Not to be outdone, Stevens boasted “I myself have photographed a black hybrid cat of over 3.5ft in length”.