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Saturday, 5 February, 2000, 16:24 GMT
'Big cat' on the prowl

Beast of bodmin Is the Gloucester cat like the "Beast of Bodmin"?

A big cat is thought to have spent a night on the prowl in the Gloucestershire countryside.

Police in the county say an animal is believed to have attacked a dog and left deep claw marks on a villager's door.

It couldn't have been anything but something with powerful jaws
Derek Day, Newent resident
Both incidents took place in and around Newent, near Gloucester, where big cats have been spotted in the past.

A Gloucester Police spokesman said in the first case a collie cross-breed dog was attacked in the village of Longhope, 10 miles south-west of Gloucester, towards the Forest of Dean.

The animal was taken to a vet's surgery with serious, though non-life threatening, neck injuries.

The spokesman said that after examination the dog the vet concluded that its injuries were caused by large animal other than a dog - "possibly a large cat".

Previous sightings

The second incident took place in Newent, a village five miles from the scene of the dog attack.

A resident awoke to find 5mm-deep claw marks in his pine door.

Derek Day, 63, said the animal had also tried to get in through his cat-flap and, in the process, had torn pieces off the door.

"During the night there was a hell of a commotion," he said. "When we got up this morning we found the door was ripped. It couldn't have been anything but something with powerful jaws."

Mr Day said big cats had been spotted in the area a few years before.

A Gloucester Police spokesman confirmed there had been previous sightings of a big black cat but added no one had seen the animal thought to be responsible for the latest incidents.

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See also:
28 Jan 00 |  UK
Big cats prowl British countryside
13 Nov 99 |  UK
HI-tech search for Beast of Bodmin
21 Jul 98 |  UK
'Beast of Bodmin' captured on video
19 Aug 99 |  UK
Puma hunters target Wales
20 Nov 98 |  UK
Hunters try to bag Dartmoor lion
27 Sep 98 |  UK
Home Counties puma alert

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