The Beast of Boreham?

Older readers may remember the publicity surrounding the reported sightings of a big cat on Bodmin Moor some years ago. As well as the sightings there were several half eaten animals found whose deaths couldn't be attributed to a native animal. However, I don't believe its existence was ever proved, sightings faded, and the story was believed to be a hoax by some. Now I am asking the question, does our part of Essex have its own predator prowling the fields and woods?

A while back I was fishing a private lake on the outskirts of Boreham. I had been there all night and had got up around 4.30am to make a cup of tea. As I stood there waiting for the kettle to boil I glanced up and looked along the path that runs in a straight line through a plantation of Christmas trees. About 75 yards away two adult geese were waddling away from me along the path, suddenly there was a blur of movement from the right and the two geese became one. The remaining goose took off with a squawk of alarm. Tea made, curiosity got the better of me, so I walked, mug in hand, along the path to check the “scene of the crime”. On reaching the approximate spot I scanned the ground, not a spot of blood or a feather to be seen. I did a search of quite a large area but found nothing. At the time I presumed that a fox was responsible. However, thinking about it afterwards, it would have to be a pretty powerful animal to carry away a goose of that size. In my time I have seen hundreds of foxes and on two occasions I have even seen them walking on the pavement outside my house in Springfield. Now none of these foxes was any bigger than a medium sized dog and a pretty skinny one at that. So could it have been something other than a fox that carried away that goose?

On recounting the above to an angling acquaintance he told me that once, whilst he was driving along the back road between Boreham and Gt Baddow, he had seen a black panther crossing the field close to the lake. I quizzed him about whether he could have mistaken a black labrador for a panther but he was adamant about what he and his girlfriend had seen and no, they hadn't been drinking. So there you have it hardly conclusive evidence that a big cat roams around our area, but, here's where you come in, some of you reading this will be keen cyclists, joggers or ramblers. Have any of you seen anything resembling a big cat whilst enjoying the countryside? Also are there any experts on foxes out there, if so please write in and confirm that a skinny fox can carry /drag a full grown goose a considerable distance, so that I can rest easy whilst night fishing in this area.

Share on Social Media

Chelmsford City Council is asking residents to take part in the annual Rocket O'Clock scheme. The scheme asks people to be considerate of others when holding their own firework displays.
You can only report a missed collection within 24 hours of your collection day. If your collection is on a Friday, you can report a missed collection on the following Monday.
The cinema weekend takes place on 23-25th September and will feature 6 films.
Could you help our young people develop #SkillsForLife, creating the next generation of life-changers? We need people just like you to help bring Scouting to the youth of Chelmsford.
The Blue Falcons Gymnastic Display Team is a youth affiliated gymnastics team who train weekly to learn routines and new exciting vaults
We are very pleased to announce that the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Winter Raffle has raised an incredible £4,000 for the charity!
A city play area has been awarded special status as it has been adapted for disabled children and wheelchair users.
The Adventure Castle play area in Hylands Park is now officially accredited by PiPA, also known as Planning Inclusive Play Areas.
Work is now officially underway on the county's first ever all-through school at Beaulieu in Chelmsford.

Construction on the new £34million school started following a ground-breaking ceremony at the site yesterday.