Police are investigating a series of potential “big cat” attacks in Northern Ireland after a number of sheep were found savaged.
The dead animals were mauled in the Hillsborough and Dromara areas of Co Down.
Officers said the sheep appeared to have been victims of “violent animal attacks” while other livestock have been found bloodied and injured, with further animals having been reported missing.
A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokeswoman said residents have claimed to have seen a big cat in the same area.
She added: “These issues have now been brought to police attention and local officers are making inquiries.
“While we would stress that there has been no confirmation of the presence of any ‘big cat’ in the area, we would ask that anyone who has lost sheep or other livestock in similar fashion recently or anyone who sees an animal which they believe to be dangerous, get in contact police.
“Under no circumstances should any wild or undomesticated animal be approached.”
It is understood the dead animals were found at farms in the Hill Road, Ballynahinch Road and Mullaghdrin Road areas over the last number of weeks.