I'm A Celeb neighbours fear 'big cat is on the loose' after ten sheep kiled nearby
TEN sheep have died in a series of mysterious savage attacks around the I'm A Celeb castle as farmers fear there is a "big cat on the loose".
There have been four reported sightings in recent weeks within a 30 mile radius of Gwrych Castle where the ITV hit show is being filmed.
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One farmer lost ten sheep during the past four months – all having suffered a single bitemark to the neck.
And his neighbour farmer claims to have lost a ram.
Big cats are known to prowl a territory of 30 square miles and can easily travel more than 20 miles in a night.
Experts say the beast is most likely a puma and revealed there could be as many as a dozen stalking the Welsh mountains hunting their next meal.
Locals have set up a dedicated website called Puma Watch North Wales which aims to raise awareness and protect communities.
Tony Jones, founder of Puma Watch, said: "Even Olympic gold athlete Sir Mo Farah would not be able to outrun a puma.
“At full speed over a short distance, the puma would be far quicker.
“Although they are by nature very shy animals, if they are certainly capable of attacking a small child or dog so people should be mindful of this and not let them wander off alone. I would advise people to keep their dogs on a lead when outdoors.
“From the description of the cat’s tawny-coloured markings and size, I believe we’re talking about a puma.
“These cats are solitary animals and they can easily cover 12 to 20 miles in 24 hours if there’s something they are interested in.
“They tend to have a territory of around 30 square miles.
“I think there is a small population of a dozen or so pumas living in the Snowdonia area.
“I’d say the first ones were released here by owners in the late 70s.
“This poor farmer is going out of his mind with worry. It’s been extremely distressing and stressful for him." The farmer is said to be out of his mind with worry after losing so many of his flock.
He said: "Since I took my sheep to the ground in July, I've had about ten sheep killed.
"They've all been killed with a single bite to the back of the neck.
“I went there on Sunday and found three Welsh Black sheep, which are pretty quick and lively, you wouldn't catch them.
"They had been driven into a corner and the three had been killed with a single bite.
"I've been on farms all my life, I've seen dog attacks, and it's not a dog.
"I've seen badger attacks that have taken baby lambs, I've not seen anything like this before."
"It kills them and eats half of it.
"If I find it and don't move it will go back a second or even a third time to eat a portion of it.
"I haven't seen it myself, but one of my neighbours back in August was walking up the road and saw a big cat, about three times the size of a domestic cat and light brown, jumping over the wall."
"It could stay hidden.
"There is a lot of woodland, a lot of tall grass and fern.
"You could walk past it and not see it."
Last week Toby Matthews, 32, was walking his dog by torchlight when the beam landed on the shape of a big cat ahead of him.
The hypnotherapist said the animal was three times the size of a Labrador when it crossed his path in Coed Talon, North Wales – 30 miles away from Gwrych Castle.
Toby said: "I was going along sending a Snapchat, it was a bit misty and spooky and I just wanted to show my partner.
"I looked up and had a sudden moment of shock, almost like when you wake up suddenly from a dream feeling like you're falling.
"Maybe 50 or 60 feet away was an enormous black cat looking right at me.
"I had my phone in one hand and both the dog's lead and the torch in the other, so when I looked up I managed to drop the torch. I picked it back up and looked around again.
"It had moved to the opposite side of the path and wasn't really moving at all.
"I could tell the dog was scared and she started pulling back towards Pontybodkin, I took a photo then turned around and quickly walked back.
"I wanted to start running but was worried it'd give chase."
Last month a walker Jacques Wood told of how he faced off against a puma on the slopes of a popular walking route Crib Goch in the Snowdonia national park.
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