National Trust Purbeck Wildlife

Beast on the Heath

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A colleague recently made this interesting observation…
‘On Tuesday 20th May, about 09:30, whilst walking near the far north end of the orienteering course by post T, I saw a number of deer making their way across the marshy area. Looking across to the other side of the marsh I noticed two deer running fast from my left to right, along the line of pine trees. I could see they were being chased by a large dark/black animal. The creature was about the size of a very large dog, approx. half the height of the deer and my first thoughts were of a wild boar. It was running as fast as the deer. I could not hear any barking and the location is very remote, close to Little Sea surrounded by marsh and with no easy paths for dog walkers’.
With big cat stories occasionally making the news, it’s fun to speculate on what this might have been. Certainly the observer was convinced that it wasn’t a dog and some scat found at the site did look like something a large cat would produce.
Perhaps further sightings will give more clues to the identity of this beast on the heath.

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Author: Kevin Rideout

National Trust Visitor Experience Officer based at Studland

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