Compelling evidence for the existence of UK cryptid "the badger" has been recorded in the south-coast town of Gosport – and it appears to have a penchant for ice lollies.
Most commonly sighted as a bloodied furry hulk lying at the side of dual carriageways or screwing up plans for Apple data centres, BBC Springwatch has the monopoly on alleged footage of the beast alive.
Quite rightly, everyone thought 29-year-old Hannah Carver was crazy when she insisted her freezer was being ransacked by the elusive critter nightly. So she set up cameras in what will surely be remembered as Britain's answer to the Patterson-Gimlin film.
She was first woken by banging from her kitchen a couple of weeks ago and came down to find the floor littered with frozen food packaging.
So the trap was laid, and the badger was filmed clawing open the freezer to gorge itself for 50 minutes on "Twister ice lollies, mashed potato, crumpets and Chinese-style pork chops" though, as Carver reported to the Portsmouth News, it snubbed the velvet luxury of scallops.
The striped intruder, which weighs a stonking 1 Lindisfarne Gospels, gained access through a catflap.
"You could see it walking around, and then sitting down and tucking into the ice creams, ripping the wrapper off and just sitting there chomping it," she told the website.
Carver turned to the local council and animal charities for advice, but was told nothing much could be done as it is a "protected" species – though that hasn't stopped the government's mass-murder of the blighters.
Child locks on the freezer only encouraged the creature to dive through the mother of one's bins and cupboards.
"I've got to do something about it," she sighed. "I don't want my son coming downstairs and coming face to face with a badger.
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"And the mess it's making, and the amount of food it's eating – it's unreal.
"I tried turning around the freezer to face the wall so that it would stop eating the food. But it's still coming in.
"It's eaten a whole pack of wraps, crumpets and it loves ice lollies.
"It's had chicken, Chinese-style pork chops and – you won't believe it – mashed potato.
"Nothing is safe from this badger – apart from scallops. It took those out and then just dumped them on the floor.
"It loves all the good stuff which now we don't get to eat. You've got to get in there quick before the badger.
"It is trying to get into a cupboard where I have another freezer and snacks. It's tried to rip the grate off the door. It must have massive claws."
Sadly, the badger's banquet has been brought to an abrupt end. Carver showed her letting agent the footage, and the catflap was sealed off with wood on Saturday.
Chin up, mate. You had a good run. The Register is sure your usual fare of grubs, bugs and earthworms is far more nutritious than Iceland stock, and tastier to boot. Missed a trick with the scallops, though. ®