Julie's parents recall seeing wildcats back in the 1970s or 1980s at their home at the foot of Ben Cruachan, Argyll & Bute
Latest News - The day my parents caught a real Scottish wildcat
It was my father who trapped this cat. He was farmer Bill Dawson of Crunachy Farm and the land included one side of Ben Cruachan at that time.
If you were driving along the A85, through the Pass of Brander (between Lochawe Village and Taynuilt village) the river Awe is on your left and Ben Cruachan is on your right. Right where the pass widens and the countryside opens up a little, the trap was set just on the other side of the railway and the road. It was not far from the Brander Lodge Hotel.
We had a sheep fank there for the hill work. The trap was positioned right beside the wall that came down from the gully on Cruachan. You could look up at the hill from the front of the Brander House Hotel - which was originally the farm house when my grandparents first moved there.
My mother is pretty sure it would have been living there as it was very inaccessible and she believed it was good habitat for wildcats. My parents knew they were around but that was the only one they ever saw.
My father set a humane fox trap baited with a salmon. When he went to check it there was this Scottish wildcat. He went back to the house to get my mother and his camera. She recalls it was difficult to release as it was in "full attack mode," so getting close to the trap to open the cage was a challenge.
Sadly my Dad has since passed away so I can't ask him for more details but my Mum thinks this was during the late 70's, early 80's as there were no kids at home to worry about and she was able leave the house to go to the hill with him to help.
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