Gamekeeper Willie Thomas had suffered a series of pheasant kills on the Minto estates where he worked but was surprised to come across the culprit in the act - running from a pen with a pheasant in its mouth. Rather than the usual fox or feral cat, he was presented by what he described as a cross between a leopard and a wildcat. Instinctively, he raised his gun and killed the animal.
On inspection, the cat was found to be some 3ft long and weighed 11lb. An expert at the Royal Museum of Scotland identified it as a leopard cat and later it was identified as an escapee from a home in Cumbria - having fled when its owner's house was burgled.