A shocked dog walker spoke of his horror on Friday after finding the remains of a 'fang-toothed big cat' at a beauty spot.
John Robertson, 50, was walking his two dogs along a rural path when he found the remains of the beast - the size of a large dog - with huge white teeth.
And to his horror just metres away from the rotting corpse were the remains of its last meal - half a dozen mauled seagulls.
John said: "I was walking my two dogs when we came across all these dead birds scattered about everywhere.
"I couldn't believe my eyes. I have never seen so many dead birds in one area. They were completely mauled, they had their guts totally ripped out of them lying on the ground.
The sprawled corpse of the fang-toothed cat
"Then a little further on we came across a horrible rotting smell which was this big cat. It looks like it's feasted on the seagulls and maybe it has fallen down the cliff nearby, injured itself and just lay there till it died."
John, of Drybridge, Morayshire, made the discovery during a walk in Cullen with his wife Pauline on Monday.
But despite it's long 18-inch tail and its frightening sharp teeth, John reckons it is a cub.
The distinctive fanged teeth of the cat
He said: "If you see its skin, it's jet black and I actually think it's a juvenile.
"I didn't have a tape measurer on me to measure the tail, but I'm a builder so I have a pretty good idea that it's about 18 inches long, which is huge.
"I reckon it's a cub though, it's teeth are too clean and there isn't enough damage to them, which means they must be pretty new.
"If that's a cub though, you can imagine how big its mother would be.
"I'm sure we'll find out from the DNA tests what type of cat it is, but it certainly seems like one of the big cats."
The cat appears similar to the Beast of Bodmin which was said to prowl Bodmin Moor in Cornwall mutilating livestock.
As recently as 16 April, Portessie man Bill Paterson saw what he described as a cat-like animal as large as a labrador, while walking his dog at Rathven Burn in Morayshire.
That sighting was a carbon copy of eye-witness accounts from just two months earlier.
In February, a Portgordon man said he saw an animal matching the same description beside an old railway line in the village. Later that week it was spotted again at Buckpool Golf Club.
Bob Wallace, an expert with the Big Cats In Britain group, is now studying the remains of the big cat to determine just what John found on Monday.
While the cat is not big enough to be an adult leopard or jaguar, he reckons it's the right size to be a cub.
He said: "If it is a juvenile, it would have to be last year's cub, as both leopards and jaguars mate between January and March.
"It is also hard to say whether this is the cat that is the subject of the spate of recent sightings.
"Over the past few years, there have been several reported sightings of black panther-type cats, as well as pumas and lynx."
The carcass's mouth is wide open in a terrifying snarl
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