A FARMER says he has lost ten sheep to what he believes is a big cat stalking the mountains of Snowdonia.

The farmer says he has found sheep with distinctive puncture wounds to the neck on land near Beddgelert in Gwynedd - and the mystery creature has often returned to claim its prey.

The Leader:

The land where the sheep have been killed

Not wanting to reveal the location for fear of people taking guns or dogs into the remote countryside, 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."

The farmer added that one of his neighbours had a large tup ram killed. The carcass was left on the land and was gone the next day.

He added that he hoped big cat investigators would visit the land and set up camera traps.

A spokesman for Puma Watch North Wales says there have been a number of incidents in that part of the country.

The spokesman said: "We're really sorry to hear that sheep are again being taken from the area.

"The animal sighted and nature of the killings sounds exactly like those reported around Nantmor and Beddgelert back in 2015, when multiple farmers reported losing sheep and one resident reported seeing a mother puma with two cubs in a paddock.

"The latest sightings are in a particularly remote area in an isolated valley with plenty of woodland and easy access to some of Snowdonia's most untouched uplands.

"Sightings in this area since 2015, sightings can be reported via the Puma Watch website and this would really help us keep track of any potential animals in the area. Unfortunately, there was no official response or investigation into the series of killings in 2015, so there's little livestock owners can do but try to make their fields as secure as possible and hope this is at least some deterrent.

The concerns follow two potential sightings of big cats in Flintshire and another in Snowdonia.

Last week, Toby Matthews, a hypnotherapist living in Caergwrle, was walking his dog by torchlight when the beam landed on the shape of a big cat ahead of him.

The incident took place in the Wood Pit Nature Reserve between Pontybodkin and Llanfynydd.

Video of the encounter in Pontybodkin

Toby says he saw the creature on the old railway line through the reserve, which is in the middle of a dense wooded valley.

And last month, cafe owner Robert Kardziz encountered a strange beast behind Billie Jeans in Pentre Halkyn.