Black panther sighting reported in Borders thought to be false alarm

An alleged sighting of a black panther near Hawick has been dismissed as a false alarm by police.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 10:40 am
Hornshole, near Hawick.

Police were called to the Hornshole bridge area, between Hawick and Denholm, regarding reports of a sighting of the large cat there.

Hawick police constable Allan Patterson, however, said they “found no trace of any such animal” and that “no further sightings” had been reported.

He instead believes it was most likely a large dog which had been spotted.

A Police Scotland spokesman added: “Police in the Borders received a report of a black panther in the Hornshole area of Hawick around 10.15am on December, 4, 2019.

“No other sightings have been reported and it’s thought from the description that the animal was likely to be a dog.”

Experts believe it’s extremely unlikely that any breeding population of non-native felines exists in the UK.

It’s believed only one native species of cat, the Scottish Wildcat, lives in dwindling numbers in the Highlands.

But for decades, people across the country have reported seeing much larger felines on the prowl.

Between 2015 and 2018, a total of 155 big cat sightings were reported to UK police forces.