Friday, 28 January 2011

'Large cat fight' sound heard before savaged lamb is found

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reports of a mysterious big cat stalking the valley of the River Axe have been revived following a gruesome find.

John Knott from Henton found the shredded carcass of a lamb behind the village hall on Monday.

Pictures of what remains of the lamb – too gruesome for publication in a family newspaper – show that it appears a large predator has literally ripped the animal limb from limb.

Every scrap of meat has been taken, along with the front legs and head of the animal, leaving just its spine, ribs and back legs.

Mr Knott said that he heard a disturbance in a field near to the village hall on Monday and that there had been disturbances in the village for up to a week before the attack.

He said: "About a week ago I was going to feed the animals.

"There is an area known as the T-Ground of brambles and undergrowth with is too steep to farm, and has been left to go back to scrubland.

"There was a loud sound like a large cat fight. As I got nearer – it was 200 yards away – it got louder and louder.

"It was the same volume as cats fighting around your feet, but the noise came from a long way away.

"The horses panicked and the sheep started to flock."

Then on Monday he found the evidence of the attack.

"The night before I remember the neighbour took her dog out late at night and it was very spooked, staring up at the T-Ground, as if something was disturbing it," he said.

"From where I found the lamb, the cat must have climbed over the wall to bring it in."

The area around Bleadney, Henton and Wookey is home to regular reports of big cat activity each winter, with farm animals and wild deer savaged by an unknown attacker.

There have been suggestions that the predators live on the Mendip Hills but come down to the Axe Valley in winter when pickings become scarce.

Have you seen evidence of a big cat or other predator in the area round Henton?

Call the newsdesk on 01749 832335.

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