Yearling muntjac likely predated on by lynx, jungle cat or “wildcat-sized beast”

 Spine and pelvis of  young muntjac showing signs of predation, with an adult men’s boot for scale, found in Ditchingham, Norfolk. © Tommy McCarthy

I received these photos of the partial skeleton of  “yearling muntjac”, a young muntjac about a year old. They were found about a quarter of a mile from a road, on a river walk near a stream which is close to the All Hallows’ Convent, the old nunnery in Ditchingham, which is just over the Norfolk border, a short distance from Bungay. My thanks to Tommy McCarthy.

Dorset big cat expert Jonathan McGowan, who’s been studying British big cats and their kill signs for over 40 years, concluded that it was “likely” the result of a big cat kill by a “lynx, jungle cat or wildcat-sized beast.” (I have been following up on several reports in the Woodbridge area recently of exceptionally large feral cats caught on trail cams, there will be an update on this shortly.)  McGowan said it probably wasn’t a kill by a leopard or puma, as they could swallow or chomp up most of the spine without much difficulty, and wouldn’t bother to strip it down in this way.

McGowan said he couldn’t completely rule out a fox as the predator, because foxes would be able to bite off the ends of the ribs quite easily.




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