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Monday, 15 October 2012

Unknown ‘beast’ spotted in West Berkshire

Unknown ‘beast’ spotted in West Berkshire

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

Rather than being called a "mini-Loch Ness Monster" might this just be a smallish "Master-Otter" instead? the long neck and SHORT legs would not normallyy occur on any animal like a llama or an ordinary deer. The whole creature is about eight feet long. And I note that it has the characteristic upstanding, sharp-pricked ears. Since there were two creatures it might be the other creature was its pup, and that the young one had not yet grown into the typical adult proportions. It was already at least the size of an ordinary house cat.
Master-Otters are occasionally reported at Loch Ness and other bodies of water around Britain, but they seldom stay put. I would say the last reports of a creature seen at Loch Ness with the size and proportions of a Master-Otter that I can point to with any certainty was in the 1960s: there were several more sightings of the same type all over Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s.

Scale Comparison. The giant South American otter shown is a
MALE, it would seem the Curridge creature was a FEMALE

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