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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 December, 2003, 10:38 GMT
Sheep painted to deter 'panther'
See ewe... two of the painted flock graze in their new colours
See ewe... two of the painted flock graze in their new colours
A farmer has painted zebra-style stripes on her sheep to camouflage them after rumours of a black panther on the loose.

Charlotte Brayley, from Ayrshire, spray-painted her flock through cardboard stencils after reading about the recent sightings.

The 21-year-old, whose farm is just outside Dalry, painted green, purple and red stripes on six of her sheep.

She said: "These cats prey on sheep and there was no way I was going to allow any of mine to fall victim."

Ms Brayley, who studies fine art and sculpture at Glasgow School of Art, said it only took 15 minutes to paint each sheep.

Eye witness

She told the Daily Record newspaper: "It doesn't matter that the colours are bright. It is the patterns that are important because cats only see in black and white.

"One night my mum was sure she spotted a huge black tail disappear into a hedge."

Striped camouflage, like that of a zebra, is believed to confuse cats because the contrasting bold stripes break up the shape of the intended prey.

More than 200 sightings of big cats have been reported in Scotland this year.

Big cat concerns continue
17 Nov 03  |  Northern Ireland

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