Big beast stalks village

HAS a mysterious – and so far elusive – large cat-like creature been searching for food in an East Anglian village?The heavy snowfall over the weekend meant it was difficult for any animal to cover its tracks and when one woman woke on Saturday morning, she could see an unusual visitor had been in her garden.

HAS a mysterious – and so far elusive – large cat-like creature been searching for food in an East Anglian village?

The heavy snowfall over the weekend meant it was difficult for any animal to cover its tracks and when one woman woke on Saturday morning, she could see an unusual visitor had been in her garden.

The woman who lives at Bedfield near Framlingham, but who asked not to be identified, is convinced the tracks left in the garden were from a large cat, possibly a puma.

The tracks were not in the garden on Friday evening and their appearance on Saturday morning made the homeowner recall a possible sighting she had had earlier.


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"My bedroom window overlooks nearby fields and recently I was convinced I saw a large black cat. It was far too big to be a domestic cat and it moved differently from a dog," she said.

Although the woman had heard of other possible "big cat sightings" in the area, she thought she must have been mistaken, but the pawprints in her garden have made her think there may be a "Bedfield beast" on the prowl.

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The tracks showed an animal had come close to the house, walked across the patio and then made for the birdtable. The distinct pawprints were about 15cm long and had to have been made by a sizeable creature.

Dominique Thomas, a friend of the homeowner, was also convinced the tracks were made by a large cat-like creature.

"I do not think there is any doubt about it. These pawprints are not those of a dog. They are also just over a metre apart, so they have been made by a large animal," she said.

Mrs Thomas, who also lives in Bedfield, was so concerned about the possibility of a large cat roaming wild in the village that she telephoned local farmers so they could check their livestock.

"We have not heard of any livestock being taken in the village, but farmers here keep a number of animals and birds that could be attacked, including geese and black swans," she added.

The two women believe the animal must have been extremely hungry to have ventured so close to the house.

"It looks like it was after the food left on the bird table, but those scraps would not have been enough to fill a large animal," said the homeowner.

However, the tracks in the snow melted away with the rising temperature on Saturday and the "Bedfield beast" remains as elusive as ever.

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