A photographer has asked for help identifying an unidentifed creature filmed prowling through the trees at night.
The grainy images were taken on a trail camera, and show the back half of a "stocky animal with dog-like legs".
Sadly the beast's head is in a bush, making it hard to identify – but locals have suggested it could be a big cat, boar, or deer – with bizarre claims made about a werewolf.
Darren Lant, 46, said he was “totally confused” after recovering the photos from a trail camera left near the village of Belsay in Northumberland.
He said: “It was an animal of some sort, roughly two to three feet in height, with a stocky body and dog-like hind legs.
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“Its head was concealed in bushes so I am unable to describe its facial features.
“At first, I thought it was a deer, then I saw the next picture with the rear dog-like legs.
“I became totally confused as it’s not like any deer I’ve ever seen before.
“I thought it may be a wild boar or something, but I really didn’t know what it was, which is why I reached out for others' opinions.”
Unsure what to make of the photos, Darren shared them with a local animal group on Facebook.
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Some said it was a roe deer, others a muntjac or a boar, and some even said it was a big cat.
“I'm no expert but looks like a puma or leopard to me,” said one person.
“It resembles a bobcat or jungle cat in size and colouring,” said another.
The possibility that it was a big cat – what Darren called the “Beast of Belsay” – wasn’t even the strangest suggestion.
Mr Lant, from Newcastle, said: “At first, I thought a mixture of wild boar, to wild dog, to some sort of deer.
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“But in reality, I didn’t have a clue. I just thought ‘what the heck is that?’
“I’ve seen all the comments about it being a cat of some sort.
“And whilst there are rumours and stories of wild cats in Northumberland, I’m sceptical as nobody has ever got a real good photo of one – until now maybe!
“I’ve had suggestions from dogs, to wild cats, to boars. Even a werewolf.”
And while Mr Lant thinks a deer is the likeliest suggestion, he’s ruling nothing out.
He said: “It may just be lighting etc that has cast doubt, but there’s so many comments saying otherwise that I won’t rule anything out."
What do you think the creature is? Tell us in the comments below…
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