A large “cat” with a taste for mutton is believed to be roaming the most remote parts of northern Scotland, stripping sheep from their skin and leaving no trace but bones and wool.
The mysterious beast’s latest catch is a hefty and healthy ewe of about 50kg. Her wool was neatly peeled off her skin before it was eaten. The carcass was found less than 100 yards from a croft in Swordly at the weekend.
The ewe belonged to Susan Mackay, who is not the first crofter to fall victim of the unknown animal.
Jim Johnston, 66, who lives in the village of Bettyhill, has developed a particular interest in the story and photographed Mrs Mackay with the carcass of her sheep.
He told the Independent that over the past five years, about 40 sheep have been found dead, apparently killed in one go, all neatly stripped of their skin before being eaten, across an area of about 200 square miles between the parishes of Farr and Tongue.
“The same pattern is happening. Whatever animal is doing it, it manages to peel the skin off, probably because it doesn’t like the wool, and it skins the sheep in a most expert way – removing the skin along with the wool.