Report from Chris Smith
17 th November 1980, Garve, Ross-shire
Then on 17 November the reamins of two sheep were found on farms 3 miles apart at Garve. The carcasses had been cleanly stripped of all muscle and soft organs, and the rib cages had been partially eaten. The contents of the stomach of one of the animals were discovered approximately 80 yd from the carcass, but ther was no trace of the internal organs. One carcass had been killed during the night, but the other had died about four days earlier. A vet examining the carcases noted the lack of mess around the remains and concluded that the same species of animal had been responsible for both killings, which he could not associate with either dogs or foxes. The carcases were taken to the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology at Banchory, where they were examined by a doctor of zoology and a biologist. They stated that both animals had been killed by a throat bite, one having been suffocated in typical cat fashion, and that they could have been killed and eaten by a large carnivore such as a puma. However, with the usual careful scientific hedging, they went on to state that 'although the patterns of damage were unlikely to have been caused by a fox, dog, wild cat or badger, due to vriations, these could not be excluded'. Which translates to my mind that they thought the beasts were killed and eaten by a cat-like predator but they dared not stick their necks out and say so.
17 th November 1980
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