NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Wildcats captured on camera in Aberdeenshire

Wildcat Image copyright NTS
Image caption One of the wildcats was spotted at Drum Castle

Wildcats have been captured on camera at two National Trust for Scotland sites in Aberdeenshire.

One was in woodland at Drum Castle, while another was near Leith Hall.

The Leith Hall cat was previously sighted several years ago.

Richard Luxmoore, of the NTS, said: "We tend to associate this elusive beast with the wilder parts of the Highlands but some of our best evidence comes from the more populated agricultural land in the north east."

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Media captionNight shots capture Scottish wildcat

Scottish Wildcat Action project manager Roo Campbell said: "I detected this cat on camera when I was doing an earlier project putting GPS collars on cats in 2013-2014.

"She was using Leith Hall and a local farm, and was a regular visitor to the trail cameras I had placed there.

"I managed to get a collar on her and was able to look closely at how she used the area.

"I always hoped to see her again when we began the Scottish Wildcat Action project in the same area.

"We were sent some recent trail camera images from the farm and I realised it was the same cat."

The Scottish wildcat is feared to be on the edge of extinction. Over the centuries, deforestation and historical persecution have taken their toll.

Image copyright Scottish Wildcat Action
Image caption A wildcat was spotted at Leith Hall several years ago

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