Reports of a creature similar to Ireland’s master otter have also emerged occasionally from mainland Scotland, but these have attracted scant cryptozoological attention. One such report is a very noteworthy but little-publicised excerpt from The History of the Scots From Their First Origin by Hector Boece (1575), which was very kindly brought to my attention yesterday by correspondent Leslie Thomson. (A somewhat different version of it, oddly, was published in Peter Costello's book In Search of Lake Monsters, 1974, but without comment, and only in relation to Nessie.) This excerpt reads as follows:
"...on the summer solstice of the year 1510 some kind of beast the size of a mastiff emerged at dawn from one of those lochs, named Gairloch, having feet like a goose, that without any difficulty knocked down great oak trees with the lashings of its tail. It quickly ran up to the huntsmen and laid low three of them with three blows, the remainder making their escape among the trees. Then, without any hesitation, it immediately returned into the loch. Men think that when this monster appears it portends great evil for the realm, for otherwise it is rarely seen."