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The Beast of Lytham
The Beast of Lytham hit the headlines as a strange creature was seen on several occasions in woodland around Lytham St Anne's. The following is an exert from at article by Jaya Narain for the Daily Mail dated 6 May 2005.
Dubbed The Beast of Green Drive, the mysterious creature has been spotted roaming in thick woodland at a beauty spot.
About as tall as a collie dog but with huge ears, a large mouth and a lolloping gait, the peculiar animal has caused a frenzy of chatter in the normally sedate Lytham St Anne's, Lancashire.
The creature, according to witnesses, is seen mainly in the largely wooded area of Green Drive, where there is plenty of brush and scrub to conceal a large animal.
Sandra Sturrock, who was walking her dog when she came face-to-face with the beast, said: "I caught sight of something large ahead of us. It was like a large collie, light in colour with large sticking-up ears.
"It was watching me and my dog. I stood completely still for several minutes trying to see it more closely. I called my dog and put him on the lead and slowly inched towards the animal to get a better look but it ran off. I then went to where it had been and my dog went mad, sniffing all round the area."
She added: "I have never seen anything like this before.
"I lived in Cheshire for ten years and frequently saw foxes and the odd deer.
"They usually disappear quite quickly and do not remain watching you.'
Willie Davidson, 59, a painter and decorator, said: "I was playing bowls near Green Drive when I heard a snarl behind me. It was like a monster out of Doctor Who and it needs tracking down."
Another woman, who did want to be named, said: 'I was walking along the drive when I saw it in the fields alongside.
"I have no idea what it was. I could tell it was the size of a labrador, but looked more like a hare. It can't have been either - it was surreal."
One theory is that it could be a muntjac deer, one of the last remaining from a herd brought to Lytham Hall by the local squire over a century ago.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: 'We have checked local zoos and farms, but nothing seems to be missing. It is very bizarre.
"We have handed it over to the RSPCA to investigate."
Experts at Chester Zoo were baffled after being shown the drawing of the The Beast of Green Drive.
A spokesman said last night: "It does not look like any mammal currently alive. It looks more like a mythical beast to us."
The identity of the Beast was however eventually uncovered and put down as described in the Lytham St Annes Express article published on 4 September 2007, entitled The Beast of Lytham is Dead.
A FOX, commonly known as the beast of Lytham, has been put down. The elderly creature, widely thought to be the half-dog half-cat beast that has been spotted numerous times in Lytham and St Annes, was captured by the RSPCA on Sunday, September 2.
The Express revealed on August 30 that the sick creature photographed
by Gilda Easton, of Harrogate Road, St Annes, was believed to be the beast after previous suspicions that a rare cat was behind the myths.
The RSPCA picked it up at lunchtime from Lytham resident Suki Woodhouse who had trapped it in her house on North House Lane and it was later put down by a local vet.
RSPCA animal collection officer Nick Green said: "It was very elderly, the oldest fox I've ever had, and it was in a very poor condition.
"It had hardly any hair because of mange, was very underweight and very confused and was struggling to see.
"We took it to a local vets in Lytham and unfortunately it needed putting to sleep.
"I think it is what people have been seeing and it had had a good life.
"It was just so old and ill and was on its last legs. It would have died naturally in the next couple of weeks.
"It just didn't put up any kind of fight when we picked it up which is unusual for a fox - they are usually quite a handful.
"This was the best thing for it."