Cryptid Profile: The Beast of Bodalog
From September until December 1988, the sheep within the town of Rhayader (Powys, Wales) were viciously attacked and killed by an unknown creature. The monster would use the cover of darkness to carry out its assault and despite the towns best efforts, it was never captured. The unstoppable killing machine became known as The Beast of Bodalog.
The method of death was always the same, as soon as the sun was set and the safety of daylight had ceased, the monster would descend upon a desired patch of land not far from the Bodalog Farm, circle its victim, and then kill it with a single bite to the sternum. The odd part of this is that one generally thinks after a carnivore incapacitates it victim, it would then proceed to eat them, but not the Beast of Bodalog. This unknown beast would strike so hard and so fast at the unlucky sheep that its teeth would make contact, and at times penetrate, the sternum. The dying animal would then fall to the ground where it would be left to suffer and bleed out, never having been finished off by being ripped apart for a meal. Over the course of two months, the Beast was said to have killed thirty-five sheep yet never consumed a single one.
Obviously these attacks had the residents of Rhayader terrified and they investigated every attack thoroughly. After the first few deaths, residents theorized that a large cat (possibly an ABC black panther) was to blame. But upon closer examination, researchers realized that the cause of death could not have come from a large cat, as these animals generally attack the throats of their prey, often times ripping them open as well as clawing at the back until they are dead. This animal attacked the chest of its victim and that was it. Investigators searching attack locations also started noticing that there were no signs in the area that a big cat had been anywhere close to these sheep. There were no paw prints in the loose earth, no hair samples left behind, nothing. What they were finding however scared the locals even more.
Leading to and from the bodies of the dead sheep were large trails of flattened grass and earth. These trails all had the same width and depth to them and all appeared to have been made by a large serpentine animal. The trail would start on the shore of the River Wye, would make its way to the grazing sheep, would circle around its victim multiple times, and would then return back to the water. Theories of large cats, feral dogs, and giant river otters quickly faded away as the new suspect responsible was thought to be a large, unknown, and overly aggressive snake. Knowing that they would now be looking for a large serpent rather than a large mammal, the residents became highly watchful and observant, but as quickly as the attacks had started, they ended even faster. As soon as December rolled around, all attacks on the local sheep had stopped and the evidence of the Beast was seen no more.
The mystery surrounding the Beast of Bodalog would forever go unsolved and the animal responsible would slowly become a legend.
-The Pine Barrens Institute