CARL MARSHALL WRITES: Monkton woman death critiqued

Thursday 13th January 2022

Monkton woman death critiqued

Thanks to Tim Whittard for sending me the story

The body of an unnamed 55-year-old woman who went missing after her car broke down in Monkton, Ayrshire, and found the following day partly eaten by wild animals is a strange case to be sure, but, for the moment at least, I see little to suggest the work of a large cat other than perhaps the high correlation of eyewitness reports describing, large, usually black cats, from that part of Scotland.  

December is the time when foxes become highly territorial, and vocalisation reaches its peak. Any cubs have been fully grown since September and started dispersing, looking for their own food in October. The mating season is January/early February, and the dog and vixen will travel, hunt, and scavenge, together for about three to four weeks before mating. So basically, foxes, if not part of a pair, become more aggressive to each other in December, while the smaller vixens are looking to find as much food as possible as resources quickly become less accessible during the winter.  

I think, for the moment at least, given the limited information we have, it must be more likely that this poor unidentified woman died from natural causes (or perhaps suicide, although this seems less likely as she phoned for car recovery) and one or more opportunistic foxes (perhaps a breeding pair) discovered her fresh remains and found it to be (what was able to be taken away at least) an easy and substantial meal.  

Of course, if we presume there are non-native felids living and perhaps breeding wild here in Britain (and there is some evidence to at least suggest this to be the case) it’s still possible, but without anything further to go on, I think it must be more likely the damage caused to the body was down to the crepuscular/nocturnal activities of hungry foxes.

Unless further corroborative information is revealed I think natural death followed by opportunistic scavenging behaviour, by one or more foxes, is the more likely scenario for this poor woman’s fate.  

More mystery cat stories HERE

Jonathan Downes
Cryptozoologist, naturalist, musician, singer, composer, poet, novelist and Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology since 1992. Jon was born in Portsmouth in 1959 and spent his infancy in Nigeria and his childhood in Hong Kong. His wife Corinna died of cancer in 2020, leaving him with two stepdaughters and a six year old granddaughter called Evelyn.