Wetherby gardener ‘sees alien-like creature’

While every gardener is prepared to fight against slugs, snails and the like in their pursuit of the perfect garden, one green-fingered individual from Wetherby was in for a bit of a fright when he discovered a creature he described as similar to an alien.

Charles McEnteer got his local newspaper involved to try to help him ‘identify’ the mysterious creature that he found along his driveway while he was tending to his beloved grass.

“I have been gardening for years and all over the place but have never seen anything like this,” the 84-year-old told the Wetherby News, adding that he could only wonder where it had originally come from.

“It’s like an alien. It looks like it’s got a head at the front and back and four big eyes with an elephant type trunk.”

The reporters from the newspaper were none the wiser so decided to turn to social media in a bid to shed some light on the situation.

Thankfully, some learned folk at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust were able to identify the creature as an elephant hawk moth – not some extra-terrestrial being who had got lost.

Communications officer Joanna Richards is quoted as saying the caterpillars have two large eyespots towards their head, which accounts for their slightly unusual appearance. If the creature becomes disturbed, it can swell to enlarge these to hopefully scare off any predators.

As they eat fuschias, this explains why Mr McEnteer – who has been an avid gardener for 18 years – got such a large shock when he ran into the little one.

Ms Richards explained that moths tend to be seen flying between May and July, and can be an attractive pink and brown colour.

Have you seen any unusual creatures that you’ve never seen before while out gardening one afternoon?

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