THE HIGHLY unusual creature found in Marlow woodland last weekend appears to have been found dead.

A Brazilian aardvark, or coati, was spotted by ramblers and later confirmed by the RSPCA and London Zoo.

This morning the BFP was contacted by Maidenhead resident Geoff Futcher who said he found a dead animal matching the description just before midnight on Tuesday.

The raccoon relative was laying on the side of Derek Road, Maidenhead, where Mr Futcher lives.

He was baffled by what it could be at the time but has now joined up the dots after seeing the article in the Marlow Free Press today.

He said the photo in the paper was exactly that of the animal he discovered.

The BFP has seen the image, which shows the creature sustained some kind of head injury, and the RSPCA have confirmed it appears to be the same animal.

He said: “When we found it we agonised over it for ages as to what it was. We suggested a stoat, but it was nothing like that, it wasn't a pine martin or beaver or anything. Our minds were racing to think what it was.

“It had a long snout, sharp claws, a lovely bushy tail.”

Mr Futcher said it was such an unusual and interesting creature it was sad to find it dead. It appears to have been hit by a car.

Jo Barr, RSPCA spokesman said: "Sadly, it would appear to be the same type of animal as appeared in the footage and it appears it was killed the same day that it was reported to the RSPCA.

"It was not contained and when we went out there was no trace of the animal.

"Sadly, exotic pets all too often end up escaping or being abandonned and we would urge people to think long on hard before taking on any pet, but especially one that has very specific and specialist needs."

Mr Futcher took the creature to Summerleaze Veterinary Hospital in Maidenhead, Berkshire in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

But out of hours staff, from Vets Now, were scratching their heads as to the identity of the creature too, he added.

The vet was not available to speak to this morning.

The RSPCA had warned earlier this week that it would struggle to survive in such cold temperatures.

The organisation said it could have escaped from a zoo or been part of a private collection, or even been a pet, despite being rare.

The BFP will be speaking about the story to BBC Three Counties radio during the drive time show between 3.30pm to 4pm today. Listen here for the link.