Mystery creature revealed

Do you know what creature Elsa found washed up on the beach?
The mystery creature is a badger.

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Last week, we published this photograph of a mystery creature discovered on the shore near Bellochantuy and asked if readers could identify it.

Elsa Macdougall, originally from Tayinloan but now living in Bearsden, who took the photograph and sent it to the Courier, believes it is the body of a badger.

She told us it was a larger than an average male, measuring more than a metre from its teeth to the base of its tail.

‘In half a century of walking Kintyre beaches, I have found many weird and wonderful things but this was my first badger,’ she said, ‘and the fact it was much bigger than average made it even more interesting.’

She said she has heard some ‘interesting guesses’ from friends trying to identify the beast and explained how she identified it to be a badger.

‘The teeth show it is definitely a carnivore so that narrowed it down and there was just enough hair left to confirm the black and white facial markings,’ she said.

‘I removed a tuft of very wiry hair from the rump and took it home to confirm the identification with my dad.’

She added: ‘When I was at college, I spent many nights lying completely still in the dusk watching badgers in a sett nearby. You simply put out peanut butter – a favourite of theirs – lie still and wait.

‘Having spent so long studying them, I have no doubt my identification is accurate.

‘You can tell by the teeth the one on the beach was in the prime of his life, and a car collision normally results in broken teeth, so his death shall remain a mystery.’

Elsa added that badgers face many challenges, including being killed by vehicles on roads and people never try to locate or disturb a sett.