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Lair of the Beasts: A Creature in the Yard
Predator on the Loose
By Nick Redfern
October 08, 2011
Something weird started to happen in our back-yard in late August of this year. While out watering the grass one evening, I stumbled upon a decapitated mole in the grass, which I thought was kind of odd, but didn’t think too much about it.
Fellow crytpozoologist, and my co-author on Monsters of Texas, Ken Gerhard, saw it when he came to visit shortly afterwards and concurred with me that the mole had been killed by some local predator. But: of what variety? Well, that was the big question.
Things didn’t end there, however. A week or two later, I found a large, skinned bone on the lawn. It had been picked entirely clean of meat. But, there was far more - and much worse - to come.
I had spent the morning of September 24 getting everything ready for a drive down to Austin, Texas, where I was due to lecture that evening for S. Miles Lewis’ Anomaly Archives group. After I finished getting all my lecture material together, and mapped the drive, I went to sit outside with my wife, Dana, and we hung out there for an hour so.
Only a couple of minutes after we sat down at our patio table, Dana gave out a huge scream and pointed to a paved area about eight-feet from where we were sitting. The sight was shocking. Nothing less than the torn-off, or bitten-off, head of a fully-grown possum was sitting, bolt-upright no less, on the small paved area that our grill sits on.
We stared, dumbfounded, for a few seconds, then I got up, walked over, and had a look at it. Yep, there was no doubting it: the unknown predator that had made a meal of something and tore the head off a mole was back.
So, what was the nature of the beast that has decided to call our yard its hunting-ground?
I cannot be sure, but what I can say for certain is that twice in the twelve months leading up to the attacks we saw a Coyote in the street outside our house. The first time was in June 2010, when we came back from my mom's funeral in England and it raced across the road in front of us, around 8.30 p.m. at night.
On the second occasion we saw it during a very violent thunderstorm in late May 2011, when - again - it was racing along the road outside our home.
But, things don’t end there. Our yard is surrounded by a 6-foot, 6-inch-high fence. Could a coyote scale that, possibly with the body of a full-grown possum clamped in its jaws? My answer: maybe, maybe not. And, on three occasions now we have opened the back door in the morning to a very strong and widespread smell of what is undoubtedly feline urine. Perhaps our visitor is some sort of large, wild cat?
Plus, although we live in a city (Arlington, Texas, just outside Dallas and Fort Worth) behind our house is a huge stretch of field that extends for hundreds of feet (both length and breadth-wise), the ideal place for a stealthy predator, perhaps. As I write these words, the killings have stopped. But, I still keep a careful, daily look-out for any mysterious animal remains in our yard...
Nick Redfern is the author of many books, including the forthcoming Keep Out.