A welsh farmer was told the “clinical” killing of his sheep is linked to pumas living in Snowdonia.
Following the grizzly discovery, the farmer contacted Frank Tunbridge, 73, a big cat expert from Gloucestershire who told him the killings might be linked to “two pumas operating in the area”.
And it appears it was not an isolated incident with the expert claiming he has had other reports of livestock being killed in a manner “unlike that of what dogs will do,” in Snowdonia.
Mr Tunbridge has received calls from all over the country in the years he has been studying the creatures and researching into claimed sightings.
He said: “A large number of sheep around five weeks ago were killed, and I think there are two pumas operating in the area.
“I have since set up two cameras down there. Glimpses of the animals have been very scant.
“However, the mode of how the sheep were killed is unlike that of what a dogs will do.
“Big cats are silent, stealthy, clinical and kill with a bite to their prey’s neck. They are clean and efficient unlike the messy approach of dogs.”
Other farmers in the area have also raised concerns over the way livestock have been killed, and whether it is evidence of a larger predator.
He said: “The amount of sheep killed points to one or two large animals being responsible.
“A landowner, another farmer and an early morning dog walker have also encountered what they described as a ‘puma’ in the area.”
Mr Tunbridge believes many big cats were released into the wild in the UK during and after the Dangerous Animals Act which was introduced in 1976.
He said: “I believe some of the animals seen are descendent of these big cats.
“Mountian lions, pumas or cougars as they are know are one of the adaptable of the big cats.
“They would be at home in the wide reaches of Snowdonia.
“As deer are not that abundant there as they are of other areas of the UK, the amount of sheep instead will be easy prey.
“A sort of takeaway meal for the animal.
“The area they frequent is vast, and they will move districts because their presence has been noted.”
Big claw marks have also been discovered up to six feet above the ground on trees.
It is thought that big cats will claw trees to sharpen claws, it leaves a scent to warn off other predators.
Mr Tunbridge said: “It is easy to imagine big cats living and breeding in this area and as the name suggests, mountain lions are more at home on higher terrain.
“I find this a fascinating subject which most of the general public can not accept big cats living in the wild in the UK.
“If you are in the right place at the right time and spot a big cat, it is something you will never forget.”