At the time of this capture, in 1998, Raymond weighed in at 700 lbs. at a length of 12.7 feet.
His range had extended throughout most of West Swindon in the early 90’s, even after the construction of the Ashworth Road trash screen. Raymond was a rare but regular sight along the River Ray parkway and in the woodland surrounding Mannington Park.
The Ashworth Road screen was originally build to trap Raymond in the underground culvert below the Bridgemead Retail Park. Unfortunately, Raymond continued to use the tunnels as a hideout, and came and went very much as he pleased. However, the south screen gate did manage to curtail Raymond’s range, and confined his hunting grounds to northwest of Mannington.
In the end, the disappearing cats, dogs, … dog walkers, cyclist and even kebab vans proved too much for the authorities, and the banks of the Ray could not provide enough shelter to protect Raymond.
More tales about the River Ray and West Swindon, see: