Just to keep you all updated, on the 12th of January this year, Graham, Charlotte and I took a party of journalists and videogame executives to two locations in North Devon, where there have been a string of sightings of alleged big cats over the last few years. At the second of these, a dismembered sheep skeleton was found by Mike Levaggi of Hope and Glory Publicity. The skeleton has been examined by Charlotte, and by Carl Marshall. These two preliminary examinations have yielded the following results:
- The skeleton appears to be of an elderly sheep, as seen by the wear on its teeth. In our opinion, is would have been too large to have been carried off by a fox.
- If the predator had been a domestic dog, the animal would have been torn apart in situ
- There is no sign that either primary or secondary predation by a badger has taken place. There is not enough damage to the bones to suggest this.
- There are no signs of human interference; cut marks from a hatchet or knife. Therefore, we can conclude it was not butchered. The fact that the skeleton was found in a small thicket adjoining a road, at least a quarter of a mile from the nearest sheep, would confirm this.
- There are bite marks on the skeleton at various points. These have been photographed and sent to Lars Thomas for his instructions as to what we do next.
- The muzzle of the skull was damaged and it appears to have been done in a similar fashion to other skulls supposedly of creatures killed by big cats, who have clamped their jaws over the muzzle of their victim in order to subdue it by suffocation.
- Graham and Carl have deployed a trail cam inside the thicket. The thicket is apparently part of a well-used animal road-crossing track, and it will be interesting to find out what animals habitually use this path.
- None of this evidence is conclusive, but it is interesting and does support the hypothesis that there is at least one non-native predator at large in the Powler’s Piece area of North Devon.