Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Pet leopard escaped and hunted sheep as it ran free for a week in English countryside

Leopard (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan, File)
Leopard (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan, File)

Stephen Walter

A pet v escaped and hunted sheep as it ran free for a week in Cornish countryside, it emerged yesterday as the animal's killing spree only ended by a farmer and his fox traps.

The clouded leopard, usually found in the Himalayan foothills, was snared after killing some of the farmer's sheep.

Officers attended and said the big cat had escaped from a nearby enclosure and the owner was trying to find it. Neighbours claimed it belonged to local Todd Dalton, who famously won a legal battle to keep leopards in his London garden 12 years ago.

It escaped on Boxing Day from a private property in Great Treverran, Cornwall, and was found on a farm a mile away in Milltown on December 31, a farmer said.

A neighbour said yesterday: "I've got three children that were playing outside on Boxing Day and if I had known I would have kept them inside.

"No one was hurt, but if the leopard had come in our direction it could have been a different situation.

"We are settled here, this is our forever home, but now I am scared for my children and don't feel safe with my back door open.

"They had an expert come in to track down the leopard and they said it would not travel and it would return to its mate, but it did the exact opposite.

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