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29 January 2009, JellyBean @ 8:49 am

Last Tuesday the grizzly remains of a strange creature washed ashore at Croyde Bay near Exmoor, England.

The beast was described as being as big as a calf but with ‘massive’ canine teeth. It appeared that the carcass had the remains of a tail and hair was found in the debris.

As the carcass washed ashore in North Devon, just a few miles from Exmoor, people began wondering whether the creature was that of the infamous ‘Beast of Exmoor’ which is said to roam the countryside. The ‘Beast of Exmoor’ is said to be a puma-like cat which people have been reporting since the 1970’s.

In 1983 about 100 sheep were found mauled and intriguing photos and sightings soon followed, but the beast was never positively identified. Since then, sheep and other livestock have mysteriously disappeared or slaughtered across Exmoor, all without any firm identification of the beast.

Locals believe that the carcass could be the beast which may have drifted down from Exmoor which is only about 5 miles away by sea. However a forensic examination of the carcass has positively identified the carcass, not as a big cat, but something entirely different.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology, the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation, took the skull away for examination. To the dismay of many big cat hunters, the skull was identified as coming from a grey seal.

Zoologist and author of on-line blog Tetrapod Zoology Darren Naish agreed with the conclusion.

“The nasal bones are unusually short in the specimen and the nasal cavity is very deep, giving the snout a steep, sawn-off look. Short nasals and a deep nasal cavity are both characteristics of the grey seal.”

Centre for Fortean Zoology

Thisisthewestcountry.co.uk: Animal’s carcass not Exmoor Beast

Mail Online: Is this the Beast of Exmoor?

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