FEVERED rumours that a monster-like carcass found washed up on a Devon beach were the remains of the Beast of Exmoor have been dismissed.
The grizzly remains were found by a passer-by in Croyde Bay last Tuesday and the local police force was alerted.
The decomposing remains were said to be ‘the size of a calf’ with ‘massive canine teeth’.
Various national newspapers and media pundits claimed that it could have been the cadaver of the infamous beast, which some believe is a free-roaming panther.
The Centre for Fortean Zoology, the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation, took the ‘beast’s’ skull away for examination.
And much to the dismay of beast believers, the five-foot long carcass was found to be a grey seal.
Centre director Jon Downes said: “The story is solved and we are now in the position to be able to state this as incontrovertible fact.
“The CFZ went out and got the skull and will be keeping it in our museum because of the minor position which it will always hold in the history of cryptozoology.”
Zoologist and author of on-line blog Tetrapod Zoology Darren Naish agreed with the conclusion.
“The nasal bones are unusually short in the specimen and the nasal cavity is very deep, giving the snout a steep, sawn-off look. Short nasals and a deep nasal cavity are both characteristics of the grey seal.
“The skull definitely belongs to that taxon, case closed.”
Mr Downes added: “I think it’s amazing when people jump to conclusions, I mean, it had flippers! But I rather enjoyed it and thought it was quite good fun.”
For more information on the work of the Centre for Fortean Zoology click on the Related Link, right.