More than 20 ‘big cats’ have been spotted across South West England over the last three years, including a wolverine, according to police files.
Devon and Cornwall Police released figures revealing that worried locals rang 999 to report wild beasts, panthers and even a ‘puma-like animal’ that reportedly ripped open a sheep’s throat.
One person from Okehampton, Devon called to report a sighting of a ‘large cat, the size of a pony, jet black, seen in east Okement Valley’ in August 2011.
In July 2012, a call came from Roseland, Cornwall, reporting a ‘wolverine sighting.’
The following month, a caller in Axminster, Devon, said he saw two sheep attacked and killed by an unidentified animal.
The police log, released under a Freedom of Information Act request, reads: “The caller doesn’t think it is a dog but can’t rule it out.
“The sheep were all attacked by the throat and then ripped open. He did mention a big cat.”
In September 2013 police took a call from someone who said he had locked a wild beast in his house but it managed to escape just before officers arrived.
The most recent report, in February this year, concerned another “large beast” spotted in Millbrook in Cornwall.
The report said: “The description of the animal was panther-like, black, wiry, with a long tail, a long defined face and whiskers.
“It crossed the road with a middle-sized deer in its mouth.”