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omnivorous sheep



 

 

Sheep ... only ate grass before

 

 

By ROBIN PERRIE

FLESH-eating killer sheep have been found living on a remote moor.

Until now sheep were thought to eat only grass.

But bird expert Dr Niall Burton watched in horror as one bloodthirsty woolly fiend pounced on a baby grouse and munched it.

Eerily, the attack came three miles from the spot where a flock of sheep pushed a woman to her death off a cliff.

Dr Burton described in the journal of British Birds how he came across a family of eight grouse chicks foraging in the heather on Muggleswick Common near Stanhope in Weardale, Co Durham.

Suddenly one of three sheep nearby “ran forward, picked up a chick and ate it whole.”

He went on: “The alarmed female grouse quickly removed her remaining chicks.

“But the sheep was only prevented from taking a second chick by my intervention.”

Dr Burton believes the moorland sheep have turned to meat to compensate for missing nutrients in their diet — possibly calcium. They satisfy their lust for blood by scoffing chicks of ground nesting birds.

Flocks of killer sheep have also been reported in other parts of Britain.

Glasgow University’s Dr Bob Furness told of seeing sheep eating live tern and skua chicks on Foula, Shetland.

Farmer’s wife Betty Stobbs, 61, died in 1999 when she was mobbed by hungry sheep as she went to feed them.

The mother-of-one was riding an off-road quad bike.

She plunged over the edge of Ashes Quarry in Stanhope and died at the scene.

A witness said: “If you’ve got about 40 of the things rushing at you, it’s such a force.”

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2002080998,00.html