Sox the cat has made a miraculous recovery after being trapped for five days in a barbed wire snare.
The black and white feline disappeared from its Banbridge home on July 1 and, despite the best efforts of his loving owner, Tanya Heslip, he seemed to have vanished without a trace.
Reluctantly Tanya and her family went on holidays fearing the worst.
Whilst in Portugal, the family got a call to say that Sox had been found but was in a very bad state and was being cared for by local vet Stephen Wilson.
The cat had been found by a local man, Mr Garnet McConnell, who was walking in a nearby field, about 100 yards from the Heslip home.
Mr McConnell and a neighbour used bolt cutters to free Sox and took him to the vet.
“This is the first time I have seen a cat caught in a snare like this in this area,” said Stephen. “The snare had caught around the cat’s abdomen and as he tried to get free, he twisted the barbed wire round and round.
“Judging by the state he was in, I would say he had been trapped for about four or five days. It took me and hour and a half to free him from the eighteen strands of barbed wire that had wrapped around him.
“He is a remarkable cat and it is amazing that he survived. He is very resilient.”
Tanya was relieved to have Sox back but was shocked at what had happened to him.
“The wound is really bad,” she explained. “It has been horrendous.
“It is going to take months and months of treatment to get him better.
“We were told that a dog had got trapped in a similar snare a few years ago.”
Tanya is concerned that it could easily have been a child that got trapped in the barbaric snare and is trying to find out who has been setting the traps.
“My concern is that children play in those fields and a child could easily have got his leg caught.
“My husband went to see the spot which is very close to our house and many other houses in the Rathview / Pinley/ Harberton area and is easily accessible for anyone so a child could have been seriously injured.”