Giant wildcat spotted in Scotland

Camera traps caught one of the biggest wildcats ever spotted

 

Captured on film in Clashindarroch Forest in Aberdeenshire, the huge cat has been nicknamed the Clashindarroch Beast. From nose to tail, it’s estimated to be about 1.2 metres (3.9 feet) long.

 

Cameras throughout the forest are baited with food or a tempting scent to attract the wildcats, and movement triggers the recording. Scottish conservation project Wildcat Haven are monitoring 13 cats in the area, but even field workers involved in the project were surprised to see the sheer size of the Clashindarroch Beast.

 

The footage of the monster moggy was collected as part of a decade-long effort to conserve the species. There are only 35 wildcats known to remain in Scotland – to put that into context, their population is 70 times smaller than the total population of the endangered giant panda. They’re threatened by habitat loss and hybridisation with domestic cats, so the project also involves neutering feral cats in the Highlands to prevent them from mating with the wildcats.