THIS is the mini Beast of Bodmin â€“ caught on camera in a back garden in the Cornish town.
A stunned couple spotted the exotic intruder and filmed it when it returned for food they left out.
It was identified as a palm civet â€“ a cat-sized mammal normally found in the forests of the Philippines, Himalayas and China.
Experts were called in from nearby Newquay Zoo who caught the creature in a humane trap.
Zoo curator Stewart Muir said the civet had probably escaped from a private collection.
He said: ”This is not the sort of animal you would expect to find roaming in the countryside, so it came as a big surprise to see the film footage of a civet.
”A small number are kept and bred in the UK as pets so I strongly suspect that it has escaped from a private collection.
”They are omnivorous and will eat almost anything. While they are not aggressive, they are capable of giving a nasty bite if cornered and would wreak havoc in anyone’s hen house.
”For a tropical animal they are surprisingly hardy. I remember seeing them in Moscow Zoo living and breeding quite happily in sub-zero temperatures.
”With the mild climate in Cornwall, this chap could easily survive in the wild.
via The Sun