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Master of Scaremonies
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Giant paw prints mystery
11 November 2006 | 23:10

UNEXPLAINED giant paw prints have today left an Ipswich couple speculating over whether a wild animal is stalking the neighbourhood. Jacqueline and Richard May, of Foxhall Road, are baffled by a series of prints - seeming to have been made by an animal with claws or toes - left in their garden.
The couple leave their front gates open at night and the mystery marks appeared some time before 3.30pm on Thursday .

Mrs May, 64, said: "You can clearly see toes but I'm at a loss for what it is.
Jacqueline and Richard May with the giant pawprints in their garden at Foxhall Road, Ipswich

"They are far, far too big for a cat. It's more like a horse.

"We have had foxes in the garden and even seen a muntjac deer before but you can tell it's not them. It's something heavy as it has squashed the mud.

Mr and Mrs May, who live opposite St Elizabeth Hospice, have put buckets over the marks to preserve them. They have a quarter of an acre of land but the marks, around 7ins in diameter, are all in one area, near some parked vehicles. There are 11 clear footprint marks and other ambiguous ones.

Mr May, 75, said: "I've never seen anything like it before. "It looks like something heavy has made it but it's not a car or vehicle because it isn't one continuous mark. "They are fairly wide apart so maybe it's something which jumped."

THE footprints are situated in a relatively small area of the May's garden large garden. Nine of the marks are in between two vehicles, on a patch of grass with a fence on one side and a concrete drive on the other. They are scattered in a space of around 5m by 5m. The two other clear prints are about 20ft away, just metres away from the road, behind the garden wall.

SUFFOLK has a history of strange animal sightings - usually with people reporting they have spotted big cats.

The most high-profile case in Ipswich was in 1996 when there were many sightings of what looked like a panther in the Foxhall Road area. In October 2003, June Fooks, of Eye, saw a cat bigger than her Labrador prowling in her garden and in 2000 horse rider Suzanne Wallace saw a panther walking by the side of the road while she was out riding in Thorndon.

Previously, in 1999, A Capel St Mary couple saw an animal they could not identify running between Hadleigh and Raydon. In 1998, two wildlife watchers at Holton St Mary saw a black cat running across the A12 and in 1992 a puma-like creature was reported in Brandon and a large cat was spotted in Debach.

Earlier this year a panther like cat was spotted near to Rushmere Heath and a few days later in the Foxhall area.
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