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(Cordova, TN) A large beast is terrorizing a Cordova neighborhood.

The animal has killed large dogs and is leaving behind what neighbor describe as large, cat-like paw prints.

A company that tracks wild animals has been brought in to set up motion sensor cameras.

Neighbors hope that will at least tell them what is killing their pets, before the animal tries to make children its prey.

Debi Stanford lives in the Carrollwood Lakes neighborhood in Cordova and said everyone is talking about an elusive beast that is on the loose.

“I call it The Thing… The Creature, The Thing. We don’t really know what it is.”

Another resident, Darrell Freeberg, said he has been trying to guess what it may be.

“People have said it’s some kind of bobcat…Maybe a coyote.”

Whatever it is, the animal that has been preying on pets in the neighborhood, is big enough to kill large dogs, some of them over 100 lb.

“The dog had its throat completely cut out,” Freeberg said of his neighbor’s dog. “Just like some animal had grabbed it by the throat and ripped it apart.”

So far, three dogs have been killed and another injured.

Adding to the mystery, the pets were all fenced in when they were attacked.

“Whatever it is, it had to climb a 6-foot fence,” Freeberg said.

That has people worried not only about their pets, but also about the safety of children in the neighborhood.

Freeberg said, “There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood. I’m a little worried about it, until we find out what it is.”

Until the beast is discovered and captured, neighbors like Stanford said they simply won’t feel safe.

“It’s elusive,” she said. “It’s nocturnal. It’s fearless. It’s obviously hungry!”

In the meantime, neighbors are putting their pets indoors at night and keeping them on tight leashes.