Monday, July 30, 2007

More on the Dartmoor Mystery Beast

England's Daily Mail newspaper has covered the story of the strange creature seen roaming the wilds of Dartmoor recently. Click here for the Mail's story, as well as to links to enlargements of the photos shown at the Fortean Times magazine link cited here.

1 comment:

Dr Dan said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: that so-called beast is nothing more than a working bearded collie dog, out stalking young rabbits, which probably lives on a local farm.

The reason it was moving so stealthily was instinctive stalking behaviour. The thick, shaggy coat of a bearded collie in this case serves to make the outline uncertain; it particularly makes the head unclear and makes the animal look much more difficult to identify. It also makes the tail look thicker and fleshier than it is.

The dog its self is showing behaviours that beardies are known to show; they don't approach strange humans readily, they can hunt after a fashion, and they're often kept as farm dogs. This one looks pretty healthy but stands out like a sore thumb (making hunting unsuccessful), so it probably isn't feral as such but just a farm dog that's slipped its chain and gone out on a solo hunt.

If you want to investigate further, have a look round the local farms inside a 5-mile radius and see what runs out to bark at you; odds are you might see the very animal or one of its close relations.