Mystery surrounding the “wolf” spotted on a remote Cumbrian road late at night continues to deepen…
Since the News & Star published the photo of the animal – snapped by chef Danny Parsons, 28 at St John’s-in-the-Vale near Keswick – dozens of readers have been in touch.
Some have ridiculed the suggestion that the creature was a wolf, saying it was a fox, while others are not so sure.
But one of the most intriguing suggestions is that the animal may be a husky dog. More specifically, some have gone so far as to speculate that Danny’s photo may actually show the missing Siberian husky Murphy, stolen from the Bradford area in December.
The case has attracted so much publicity that it was even mentioned in a recent Prime Minister’s Questions session in Parliament.
The News & Star spoke to the dog’s owner, asking him what he thought.
“I think it could be Murphy,” said the husky’s owner Andy Smith, 43, whose Facebook campaign to highlight his search has now got an astonishing 37,000 followers.
“I’ve had a friend enhance the photo so we could compare it to pictures of Murphy. This animal does look like him.”
He described how on December 4 last year his pet slipped its lead to chase a squirrel in a local park and a short time later was seen being bundled into a blue estate car.
“I’ve had a fantastic response from the public and it may be that Murphy became such hot property that somebody may have panicked and dumped him.
“If there’s any dog in the world that could withstand the cold conditions out there at the moment it’s a husky.”
He added that he had already had messages from people in north Cumbria who think the mystery animal may well be his pet.
In the meantime, he pointed out there is a £1,500 reward for information leading to the return of his dog. On our website, reader Julie Webster commented: “Looks like a husky. I hope it’s Murphy, the stolen dog from Bradford in West Yorkshire. If it’s not him, there are other lost and stolen huskies that need to be reunited with their owners.”
Another reader said: “This is obviously a husky. It has a curved tail.
“Could this be missing Murphy?”
Yet another reader said: “Definitely not a fox or a Border collie. Looks like a Siberian husky, which are all the rage these days. They’re about as close to a wolf as you will ever see.”
Mr Parsons photographed the animal shortly after midnight on Sunday as he drove through the Lakes on his way home to Threlkeld, near Keswick.
He said: “My missus is a dog groomer and this was not like any dog I’ve seen. Put it this way: there was no way I was going to wind down the window and stroke it.”
Anybody who thinks they have found Murphy should call Mr Smith on 07759 851859.