A HEREFORDSHIRE smallholder says there are signs that a big cat killed and ate his sheep.

“I keep a flock of pedigree Jacob sheep and have had one of my ewes killed in a way that cannot have been a fox, badger or dog,” said Richard Finney from Richard’s Castle near Leominster.

He has suggested a big cat could have been responsible for killing his ewe.

“The legs were broken and what’s left of the ribs has been knawed back.

“This poor girl was a fit and healthy four-year-old ewe of about 40 kilos, I guess.

"She was fine at 5 pm the night before.”

Recently, another Herefordshire man said he spotted a large black cat in Hopes Ashe, also near Leominster. Chris Taylor spotted a “massive” creature through his binoculars, but it disappeared before he could get closer.

He told the Hereford Times: “We have seen a big cat about the size of a labrador in a field about three miles out of Leominster.

“We saw what we initially thought was a deer as we see them quite a bit. Then we thought it was a big labrador.

“It was moving like a cat and had a massive, long tail curled up. It was about two feet off the floor, black and about the length of an Alsatian. I went to try and get my eyes on it again.”


There have been other reported sightings of big cats across the Herefordshire countryside over the years too, including the Woolhope Wildcat and “Big Puss”.

In 2009, Pauline Mannion said four of her sheep had been killed in suspicious circumstances, and a year later, Rachel Baugh’s horse was left with a deep wound and scratches which she said were likely caused by a big cat. Trail marks had also been spotted near her stable.

Have you spotted a big cat in Herefordshire? Email bridie.adams@newsquest.co.uk