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Author Topic: Dead sheep  (Read 9146 times)


  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2010, 10:43:05 pm »
What you have described, I had exactly the same thing a couple of months ago, still had his eyes but no back end or innards.  I was thinking badger but neighbours up here in NE Scotland are convinced it is a big cat!!!

Presumably if it was killed by a large cat of some description there would be bite marks to the neck, as that (as I understand it) is how they kill their prey.  Was the throat damaged on your animal? 

Again my first thoughts would be fly strike on the back or by the tail followed by scavenging on the damaged softened flesh.  Here in Herefordshire/Worcestershire the "Black Panther" is the favoured suspect - but (again as far as I understand it)  the black panther is a melanistic leopard, and as such would it not take its prey to a tree for safe eating? 

Attack by dangerous wild animal is so much more exciting than "fly strike" and we country folk can be a bit short on excitement ;D

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  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2010, 02:01:23 pm »
I completely agree, attack by Big Cat is more interesting, personally I think he curled his toes up and some lucky wild animal, fox, badger whatever just happened to be passing, I have had the 'discussion' about any trauma to the remains of the carcasse but Big Cat is all anyone will say.  All I know is, we lost our breeding tup 'in waiting'!!


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Suffolk
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2010, 08:43:19 pm »
Large cats apparently have been seen round here, but in view of the other 2 with mildish flystrike I think the advice from others is true. Also no signs of throat injury or large tooth wounds. It would be more exciting though.  LOL


  • Guest
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2010, 11:16:15 am »
What you describe may well be a cat kill. They remove the innards to a short distance away, and feed from the saddle area and flay the skin from the quarters as they feed. If you skin out the neck, you will probably find some evidence of wounds and bruising.

What size of a lamb are we talking about?

It's true that leopards lift kills up into trees, but that seems only to occur where there are other predators which are likely to steal the, hyenas and lions. In the UK, where these cats are top of the food chain, and under no threat from larger animals, they seem not to do this so reliably.

Searching the area around the kill, within a few hundred yards, may reveal some further eviidence, such as scats/prints in soft ground/marks on a strainer post where the animal has leapt out of the field/hair left on fence wires, and the like.

There are several websites and forums dedicated to big cats and evidence of their habits. For example, and this one which has images of typical kills. If you look, you may find similarities.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 11:31:41 am by AengusOg »


  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2010, 07:01:49 am »
Badgers almost always take the back end.  Neck bites are foxes or big cats and bums are bastard badgers - excuse the language!  We get problems with all three round here, although can' really confirm big cat story except down the pub on a friday night at last orders!


  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2010, 10:29:29 am »
Big cats indeed  ::), could have been the loch ness monster or a werewolf.  Most of these stories start with: "I was coming home from the pub" I don't keep sheep myself but I do live in sheep country. When I'm out with my horses I see a lot of dead sheep or sheep stuck upside down needing a shove over (I don't know if anyone's seen this, they get bloated and can't right themselves) . There are so many carrion feeders out there it could have been a shared meal for many. Big cat I think not ::) ::)


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2010, 10:59:28 am »
Yes, that was something I learned from our farmer neighbour pretty quick.  If you are driving through the Scottish countryside and see a sheep on its back, loup the fence and right it as otherwise it'll die.  If it's already dead at least you've tried and so long as you caused no damage you can't be done for trespass up here.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Dead sheep
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2010, 12:01:39 pm »
Or if you hear the persistent bleat of a lone sheep - When I've been out in the evening and heard a sheep calling out to find said sheep backstranded (twice) and one that had pushed its head through stock fence and got stuck (small horn stubs).




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