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'Ram raid' on Tockholes home as animal goes berserk
A RUNAWAY ram left a trail of destruction after going berserk in a house.
The animal, chased by a despairing farmer, charged straight through a patio door after seeing its own reflection.
And it continued to be spooked, butting an oven door and knocking over a widescreen television, before messing up rugs, carpets and tiles.
The ram, which was said to have been worked up because of the breeding season, thought its reflection was a competitor and attacked it.
While it escaped ‘without a scatch’, home owners Paula Smith and husband Ed came thousands of pounds worth of damge.
They thought they had been burgled until they were told to call the local farmer and now say they have seen the funny side.
The couple had gone out for a walk for some fresh air after cleaning their home ‘from top to bottom’ ready for guests from Australia.
But when they returned to Cherry Tree Farm, Tockholes Road, they were met with a scene of devastation.
Mrs Smith said: “We saw all the glass and all the mess and we were very scared.
“For about 15 minutes I was racking my brain wondering if I’d upset anyone for them to do this, while my husband was on the phone to the police reporting it.
“As he was doing that, my mobile rang and it was my uncle saying the farmer was trying to get in touch.”
Mrs Smith, who runs a livery yard in Tockholes, said the farmer, Frank Cleary, was very upset.
She said: “He said he’d had to have a full glass of Benedictine when he got home.
“But it made us laugh. It was an unfortunate one-off, and we’re just glad that there was nobody in because if it can come through toughed patio door glass, and through furniture, then it wouldn’t have stopped for a mere person.
“I can understand now why they call them battering rams.”
Mrs Smith said the guests were coming over for her daughter’s wedding.
She said: “It’s as if it were deliberate.
“The whole house stank because of the muck it left behind and I’ve had to throw out the rug in the living room.
“The carpets have to be replaced, because we can’t get the stains out, half of the range cooker we can’t use because the door’s wrecked and the hob doesn’t work.
"The patio door can’t be replaced for another month.
“We’ve had to board it up but because it’s been raining, it’s damp and that smells now too.
“It’s going to be a big job to sort out because the walls will need replastering because of the way the door was damaged.
“It’ll cost in the thousands, but the farmer’s insurers are sorting it out.”
Mr Cleary of Hollinshead Terrace, Tockholes, said: “The ram was with his mate in a field when he must have got spooked.
“He ran off down a ginnel and I went after with my stick and got him at the back of one of the houses.
“Then he saw his own reflection and, thinking it was another ram, started charging through the doors and into the kitchen.
“I followed him in where he also saw his reflection in the oven door and the television, but I eventually managed to get him out.
"The ram is OK. There wasn’t a scratch on him.
“It is coming into the breeding season, and they can get a bit more agitated at that time.”
Tim Price, of NFU Mutual, which is handling the insurance claim over the incident on August 29, said: “At this time of year, when sheep are coming into season, it is quite common for rams to see their reflection in something shiny, think it’s a competitor, then attack it.
“Cars are more often affected if they are parked by fields or in moorland.
"Rams will see their reflection in a mirror or a hub-cap and start fighting and owners will come back to a lot of dents.”
The sheep breeding season lasts between six and eight weeks from September.
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