Report from Chris Smith
End of November 1977, Achneiskich, Sutherland
At the end of November 1977 the local storekeeper at Achneiskich, Thomas Todd, found the carcass of one of his sheep in the park at the rear of his croft. He stated: 'I had never seen anything like it, the skin was removved as cleanly as if it hd been professionally flayed. Absolutely all the flesh had been removed and many of the bones including the upper parts of the legs and jaw were missing. The backbone and skull were there but the ribs had been chewed right through to the vertebrae; There was very little sign of a struggle so whatever killed the sheep did so very quickly and efficiently.' The remains were sent to the veterinary Research Laboratory in Thurso where they were examined by the Veterinary Investigation Officer, W. Scott Johnston. He said: "In my opinion the killing was the work of a member of the cat family. There is no conclusive proof but the neatness of the kill, the spacing of the toothmarks and the crushing of the bones all point to a feline predator.' He added that it would have needed to be a fairly large animal to have made the kill. Mt Todd told how he had earlier found tracks in the snow with paw-prints measuring 3 in in diameter.
End of November 1977
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