'Beast of Bont returns' as 20 sheep found massacred
Fears a savage big cat could be roaming across a remote mountain range have been reignited after 20 sheep were found “massacred” in their fields.
The mutilated carcasses were torn to shreds and scattered across moorland near to the Devil's Bridge in the Cambrian Mountains near Aberystwyth, west Wales.
The area has long been linked to the so-called “Beast of Bont”, a big cat believed by some to have been on the loose for decades.
Locals have reported sighting of an unknown creature since the 1970s, and now fear the predator could have struck again.
Mark Davey, 43, discovered the latest "sickening" scene and insists the attacker could not have been a fox or a dog.
He said: "The whole area just stank of dead animals and was quite sickening. I could see that the inside of the animals had been ripped out and body parts were lying all around.
"I thought it could have been foxes or badgers but it was just the increasing number of dead sheep that started the alarm bells ringing in my head.
"As we walked further we saw several more sheep scattered closely together, again as though some large animal had attacked them.
"We were getting quite scared and wondered what the hell was doing this."
Mark and his partner Annette, 40, were walking down a valley at Devil's Bridge when they began stumbling across the sheep carcasses.
They found two big groups of mutilated sheep and lambs in fields about two miles apart. Most had been stripped bare - leaving just mounds of wool and bones.
Mark, from Borth, Ceredigion, said: "After about an hour of walking in remote land, quite high up on the mountains, we found a couple of dead sheep.
"As we walked further and higher we came to some woods and again we found several more dead sheep.
"Each time we saw them we thought that something had quite clearly attacked them because they looked like they had been ripped apart.
"It was a very strange feeling when we saw the sheep because some of them were lambs with just half of their bodies, or just the rear of the back legs left on the field.
"I could also see a small lamb which looked to me as if it had been carefully placed in the corner of some building ruins.
"This one was untouched but it appeared that it had been put there for a reason - maybe to come back to it later."
Rumours of the elusive beast have circulated in the area since the 1970s with numerous sightings of a “puma-like creature”.
In June 1981, 12 dead sheep were found mutilated at nearby Ysbyty Ystwyth
The killer was dubbed the Beast of Bont after the village of Pontrhydfendigaid, which was at the centre of the animal's hunting area and just a few miles from Devil's Bridge.
During the mid 1990s farmers again began reporting a mysterious predator which was stalking the sparsely populated countryside, killing stock swiftly and savagely.
Then Ministry of Agriculture vets at Aberystwyth examined a sheep carcass and declared that the killer was a great deal more powerful than a fox or dog.
After several sightings, Dyfed-Powys police officers swept the area without success.
Since then, there have been sporadic sightings and reports of big cats across Borth, Talybont, Talgarreg and Bontgoch over recent years.