The BBC News reports
One of the largest wildcats ever recorded in the world is said to have been discovered by field workers in Aberdeenshire’s Clashindarroch Forest. Nicknamed the Clashindarroch Beast, the wildcat was captured on camera and is estimated to be 4 feet long—from nose to tail.
The footage was gathered as part of a Scottish wildcat conservation project operating across the Highlands. Remote traps are baited with food or scent and anytime something passes in front of it the camera captures a recording.
Kev Bell, a field worker with Wildcat Haven, said “I’ve been fortunate to get footage of quite a few of these ghost cats; there are about 10 to 15 of them here in the Clashindarroch. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw this cat, he is enormous, a magnificent animal.”
This technology is used around the world to identify populations of rare and elusive species such as wildcats.
“The cameras give us amazing insight to this priceless group of wildcats which have somehow survived here and avoided hybridization. Some people say that the wildcat doesn’t exist anymore but we know different and wildcats like The Beast prove it,” Bell added.
Steve Sleigh, another field worker with Wildcat Haven, commented “These cats are a vital part of Scotland’s wild nature and ecology, and they must be protected wherever they live; they are one of the rarest animals in the world.”
The Clashindarroch Beast will continue to be monitored as well as wildcat populations in Caithness and Lochaber, where the project began a decade ago.