Page last updated at 19:15 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 20:15 UK

Mystery of 'two-headed pheasant'

The photograph of the "pheasant" sent into the BBC
The photograph of the "two-headed pheasant" was sent into the BBC

Photographs taken in the grounds of a former stately home, apparently showing a pheasant with two heads, could be an elaborate hoax, it is claimed.

The photographs, sent to the BBC, purport to show the bird in the grounds of Himley Hall, near Dudley.

However, an artist from Birmingham said the bird looked remarkably similar to one of her creations.

Annabel de Vetten, who used stuffed birds for her works, gave one away as a present but another has disappeared.

She said the one given away could be in the hands of people with a history of hoaxing.

In 2004 residents in nearby Kingswinford were led to believe a crocodile was on the loose.

The other pheasant sculpture was being displayed at Birmingham's Custard Factory arts centre, but was reported missing last week.

Sally Newell, the estate manager at Himley Hall, said none of her staff had seen even a one-headed pheasant - let alone one with two heads.

She said: "There are always strange quirks of nature, but that one I would reserve judgement on."

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Vistors to the grounds have not spotted the bird




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