Friday 11 March 2011

The beasts of Cannock Chase and new beasties at Loch Ness

Kangaroos, wallabies, black panthers and even Bigfoot - could mystery of Cannock Chase stretch back to 1800s?
Mar 10 2011 by Charlotte Lilley
For decades, there have been reports of big cats in the Cannock Chase area.There have also been sightings of kangaroos, wallabies and even Bigfoot. Strange noises in the night, including piercing howls, and mysterious paw prints in the snow have only created further speculation that something is lurking in this little corner of Staffordshire.However, one must question where these animals originated from.During the late 1800s, a resident doctor, renowned zoologist and recognised expert on big cats, lived in Cannock and housed a whole host of animals in his own back garden that stood on the grounds of Cannock’s police station. Dr John Butter was well known for his ‘lair of beasts’ which included giant snakes, elephants, emus, ostriches, a wild ocelot and even a life-sized giraffe which, some neighbours said, regularly peered at them over the garden fence. An obscure character, Butter established a wide reputation. He often made house calls to his patients whilst being carted around the town by a zebra. For those who made it to his surgery, they were greeted in the waiting room by his pet monkey, Antony.But what became of these animals? Are these the ancestors of the strange beasts spotted on Cannock Chase?

Published:  10 March, 2011
A VILLAGE has been invaded by hungry wild boar scavenging in gardens in their hunt for food.The large bristly haired pigs, which are ancestors of farmyard pigs, have been destroying gardens by knocking down fences and eating plants and flowers.Groups of the rampaging boars, which by nature root up ground for food, have churned up many lawns and various grassy areas.Now there are fears they could pose a danger to motorists by wandering onto a nearby busy trunk road popular with bikers.Kenneth Clark, who has lived in the area for 40 years, said the boars are growing in number and are causing havoc in Invermoriston.He said: "It was quite surprising to see the wild boar at first, but now they have become pests."I've got a gate at the front of my garden, and it's not easy for them to get into. But my neighbour across the roads has had all his carrots stolen and eaten. The boar have also eaten his sage bush, among other plants."Mr Clark said around eight or nine boar have been spotted together in gardens.He said: "We've never had this problem before and I've got no idea where they've come from."There must be someone who breeds them somewhere, but they are causing damage. It would be good if someone could herd them up and take them away."Mr Clark said sometimes the wild pigs, which have sharp tusks, venture onto the busy A82 road.He said: "In the good weather we get a lot of motorcyclists on that road and I would think the boar could be a danger if they venture on the road, and nobody would like to see that happen.
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