Panther on the prowl on Lewis?!

WE have all heard of the Beast of Bodmin moor, and perhaps the islands has its own fang and claw wildlife, as this week a Gazette reader claimed to have spotted what looked like a panther on the west side of Lewis.

The man said the creature had been seen by several other people and attempted to attack sheep and a collie dog.

The chap, who did not want to be named - and has not reported the sighting to the police - was adamant he could not have been mistaken.

However Scottish Natural Heritage said this week that they had not had any reports of panthers in the wild on Lewis, yet they did reveal that this is not the first report of a big cat in the islands, with an alleged sighting in the Pairc area several years ago - that report turned out to be a photo of a large domestic cat.

The existence of big cats in the UK has been attributed to the introduction of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act in the 1970s, which meant they could no longer legally be kept as pets. Sightings are regularly reported to police across Scotland.

So if you go over to Carloway today you could be in for a Big Surprise!