20 April 2013

Unusual Skeletons in UK Forest

Creswell Piece woodland near Stroke on KentRemains of fishbone skeleton originally thought to be dog
Skull of the fishbone skeleton"Only a little bit of fur remained to prove it wasn't a fish"Dog Size Fishbone Skeleton
Creswells Piece is a large expanse of old woodland situated in the countryside near Stroke-on-Kent UK. It is also known as the Sheep Wash. Compared with America’s forests it would be nothing more than a blade of grass but to me this is a large area and when the leaves and blackberry vines grow in summer it becomes quiet dense. The track you see is used by engineers to access the electrical pylons. I prefer to go off road for obvious reasons.

I do go out looking for evidence of unusual things. Most of the time I find nothing, but on this particular day some years ago at the top end deep in Creswells Piece I came across a sight that stopped me in my tracks. In front of me in a small clearing amongst old spindly twisted small trees was a skeleton of an animal which I presumed was a dog, but the odd thing was whatever had devoured this animal left the skeleton in a fishbone design, my mind immediately flashed to an extract from an
Arthur C Clarke book it read ......

The Chairman of the South Molton Farmers Union is impressed by the violence of the kills.

"This thing kills and eats lambs like no dog or fox ever did. It eats wool and all and goes for the chops. It leaves the bone structure of the neck like you would leave a fishbone "

Creswell's Piece Stroke-on-Kent UK area where the strange skeleton was found
As I surveyed the scene I noticed only a little bit of fur remained to prove it wasn't a fish, everything else had gone. The eating of this animal was methodical, because had this been frenzied feeding by hungry Foxes or Badgers all the bones of the spinal column would have been spread out over a larger area. I have found sheep skeletons up in the Scottish wilderness and they were always scattered over a large area.

Some months later I returned and collected the remains of the skeleton in the hopes of getting it identified, unfortunately this was not to happen.

Fox with Skeleton Tail
Elsewhere in Creswells Piece, a few months after the skeleton discovery, I came across a dead Fox lying down neatly under a tree, it had no visible body trauma such as gun shot wound or knife kill and no signs of it having been trapped.

What it did have was nothing but bone for a tail, this animal looked healthy no signs of Mange, it may have been an older Fox but it looked well fed. I tried contacting people involved in wildlife conservation, I asked one gentleman if it was possible for a Fox to live for a length of time just with bone for a tail he said "Nothing surprises him". He did not volunteer to offer examples of similar incidents from his experience of working with such animals. In short I do not think he knew what to say.

There were no signs of blood around where the tail enters the body, so I think we can rule out Fox hun
ters, I believe they would have taken the whole tail as a trophy.

In the image you will see what looks like a stick it is actually the bone structure of the foxes tail, no fur no flesh no skin just bone and it was still attached to the foxes body. As for the skeleton I would say it was the size of as a Border Collie.

The English Cognizant Citizen

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