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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June, 2005, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Big cat blamed after cow attack
big cat
A big cat is being blamed for the attack on a cow near Plymouth
A big cat is being blamed for an attack on a cow at a farm near Plymouth.

There have been a series of alleged sightings of big cats in the area around Langage Farm.

The cow's owners say they have no other explanation for the animal's injuries and say vets have agreed they are consistent with a big cat attack.

The animal is expected to make a full recovery, but the incident is likely to relight the debate over the existence of big cats in the area.

It's an injury I've never seen before
Andrew Stead
Farm manager Andrew Stead said they were unsure at first about the Jersey cow's injuries.

He said: "When we looked at her initially we thought she may have been caught in barbed wire.

"But when we got her into the crush and we could see the extent of the damage we could see what looked like four parallel scratch marks on her muzzle and the side of her cheek was damaged.

"She's got barbed wire scratches on her back end. She's been pushed up against a fence I think. They're totally different from the scratches on her face.

"Her ear's been chewed up slightly. It's an injury I've never seen before. It's not barbed wire, it's not a dog.

"There are plenty of rumours and sightings of large cats around here. It's a big animal for a cat to have a go at but I can't explain these things any other way."

'Quite exciting'

Colleague Paul Winterton said: "The vets have to be very careful but they're saying it's a probable large cat attack.

"Twelve months ago two guys were having a break when they saw a big cat. When it saw them it began to make it's way towards them and cleared a 6ft high hedge.

"As you can imagine there was a bit of ridicule in the factory at the time, but this latest attack just endorses what happened last year."

However staff at the farm are not too concerned.

Commercial manager Dave Pearce said: "It's quite exciting something like this has happened."

South West 'is big cat hotspot'
20 Apr 04 |  Cornwall

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