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Unknown ‘beast’ spotted in West Berkshire


Reporter: James Williams Reporter

Email: james.williams@newburynews.co.uk
Contact: 01635 886633

MOVE over the Loch Ness Monster, Beast of Bodmin and Essex Lion, there is a new fantastical beast in town and it goes by the name of the ‘Creature from Curridge’.

The bushy-tailed, long necked creature was spotted by West Berkshire businessman, Don Prater, at about 4.55pm on October 3.

The 67-year-old, who owns Yarn Fest at Hillier Garden Centre in Hermitage with his wife, Christine, was walking his two-year-old Border Collie called Bozzy when he spotted the animal he has dubbed the ‘Creature from Curridge’.

“I hadn’t been drinking!” stressed Mr Prater. “I was walking the dog along the passageway behind the Women’s Institute Hall in Curridge towards Hermitage.

“After the footpath bends left, about 25 yards ahead of us were two animals. One of the animals looked like a domestic cat but the other one stunned me. It was a dark or grey colour. The height of its head was about two foot but it had the head of a deer. The neck was about eight to ten inches long and thin like a swan’s neck. The body was a cross between a cat and a dog. It had a bushy tail. Everything about it was wrong.

“The cat went off into the undergrowth then the other animal starred at us, took a couple of turns and wandered off into the hedgerows.”

Mr Prater said he has canvassed opinion in Curridge but no-one has seen a similar creature lurking in the undergrowth.

“I don’t have an explanation, but it was real,” he said. “I have never seen anything like that before.”

General consensus in the Newbury Weekly News newsroom is that the creature, depicted in Mr Prater’s sketch, which is pictured, looks like an alpaca or llama.

Both Bucklebury Farm Park and Beale Park, Lower Basildon, told the NewburyToday that all their respective animals are accounted for, so the ‘Creature from Curridge’ could not have escaped from those establishments.

Spokeswoman for Bucklebury Farm Park, Elizabeth Peplow said: “The closest we have to an alpaca are our two lovely llamas, Twinkle and Buttons, who are grazing happily in their paddock.”

Meanwhile spokesman for the British Big Cats Society, Danny Bamping said: “There have been sightings of such a creature around Berkshire, but it does not resemble a cat. To me it looks like a mini, furry Loch Ness Monster!

“I would suggest that Mr Prater reports his sighting on our website.”

For more information about the British Big Cats Society, visit http://www.britishbigcats.org

Don't forget to read the Newbury Weekly News — Berkshire's largest–selling local newspaper — out each Thursday morning.

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  1. Luci

    October 15, 2012 10:57 pm

    We saw it too!

    On the 18th August while driving back from Cold Ash towards Hermitage past the Downs School, we saw what my husband thought was a Wolverine (indigenous to America). Taller than a Badger, long bow-legged, long tail and definitely sinister looking. When we told people what we saw, they quickly dismissed it as a Honey Badger, but my husband has experienced both and he replied, “That was no Badger.”

    We regret not taking a picture, but this story has helped validate that we weren’t hallucinating.

    My husband still thinks it’s a North American Wolverine, not the Hugh Jackman kind…

    Report this comment

  2. joanne6175

    October 16, 2012 9:42 am

    Looks like an alpaca?

    Report this comment

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