Pic: Is a wolf prowling Suffolk?
A SHAKEN driver has come face to face with what he fears was a white wolf stalking the back roads of Suffolk.
WE'VE all heard reports of Claws, the big cat that is said to stalk the woods of Suffolk.
Now one motorist a is convinced that there's something else big and frightening out there . . a white wolf!
The strange beast gave a motorist a fright when it appeared on the side of a road in Kersey.
The driver was too scared to leave his van but managed to snatch a quick picture of the mysterious creature before it disappeared into the wild.
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Nigel Stebbings, of Bugsby Way, Kesgrave, whose son took the tantalising snap, said: “He saw something on the side of the road and thought it was a wolf.
“He was a bit frightened of it and it certainly resembles a wolf.”
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Wolves vanished from England around the 15th century, after they were hunted to extinction by official wolf hunters to protect livestock.
But reports of sightings of the elusive animals still abound, as their fearsome reputation lives on in folklore.
And Mr Stebbings can count himself fortunate that the animal was so clearly white.
As all of Suffolk knows this county has a much more sinister resident - legendary hell hound Black Shuck.
Legend has it that if you see Black Shuck, who can appear anywhere in the county, then you will die in a year and a day.
Evidence of his existence can be found at Blythburgh Church, overlooking the ghostly marshes, where there are scratch marks on the door as it tried to attack medieval villagers seeking sanctuary.
More recently, and in another part of the country, motorists on the M6 near Cannock were stunned to see a 'wolf-like creature' dashing between lanes at rush hour back in 2006.
The three-foot long creature, described as greyish black, dodged oncoming cars before diving for cover in nearby trees.
Wolves ranged freely across large swathes of Europe in medieval times - and can still be found on the continent.
A purse discovered in an Anglo Saxon ship burial discovered at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk was decorated with decorations showing wolves confronting a human figure.
The village of Woolpit in Suffolk, which is listed in the Doomsday book of 1087, is thought to derive its name from the term 'wolf pit'.
Norman Kings hired servants as wolf hunters and in 1281, Edward I ordered the extermination of all wolves in England.
By the time of Henry VII, wolves were extinct in England
Wolves have been re-introduced to two fenced-off areas of forest in northern Scotland and on the English/Welsh border - and there are some who think they should be re-introduced into the British countryside.