A close-up of the dead white mammal was spotted this week on a Douglas County road with five claws, dark tufts of hair on its back and head and long toenails.
Alexandria, Minn. – Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials have been unable to identify a mystery carcass found in Douglas County with certainty, prompting further investigation.
The dead white mammal was spotted this week on a Douglas County road with five claws, dark tufts of hair on its back and head and long toenails.
Roadkill is nothing new for Minnesotans, but this curious creature got people talking.
Lacey Ilse said she was driving near her home on County Road 86, south of Alexandria, when she spotted the mysterious mammal.
“We saw something in the middle of the road, and we knew it wasn’t a dog or a cat, because it didn’t have hair. It had a clump of hair and all the rest was just white skin,” Ilse said.”Its ear was all mis-shaped. To me, it looked like half-human.”
Ilse said she soon posted pictures of the animal on Facebook, and rumours and speculation took off.
“It just shot out like wildfire. Everybody was putting it on their Facebook pages. And then, their friends were putting it on their pages,” she said.
Noelle Jones sent the pictures to local television station KSAX on Monday, and after posting them on the KSAX Facebook page that night, more than 175 comments have been posted about the unusual animal, with guesses ranging from a skunk, badger, wolverine, wolf, or even proof of the mythical chupacabra.
Folks in Alexandria this week had their own ideas.
“First guess was a badger with like, a case of mange. But then, some other people were saying, like a chupacabra. And after looking at some pictures, I was like, ‘You know, it’s possible,” Jones said.
“It kinda looks like a 10-year-old wolf,” Austin Becker of Alexandria said.
“Almost looks like a pig, with paws? I don’t know, or a wolf,” Kaitlin Van Horn of Morris said.
Glenwood DNR Area Wildlife Supervisor Kevin Kotts used the process of elimination to give his answer.
“It’s got five long front claws on each of its front feet, which would be characteristic of a badger,” Kotts said. “I ran the pictures past a few other DNR folks that have a lot of trapping and/or fur-bare experience, and they all said, it’s hard to be 100-per-cent sure what it is . . . but if it’s a Minnesota animal, it’s probably a badger.”
But Ilse, and just about everyone else who has seen it, isn’t so sure.
“If you’re looking at the top half, it definitely looks like a dog that’s kind of been torn apart. But, I’m not sure what to make of the back part,” Igor Simanovich of the Twin Cities said.
“It’s a strange animal and I hope we don’t have anymore around here,” Jane Murphy of Alexandria said.
“You know how they do their government secret testing on animals? And I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve never seen an animal like this,” Ilse said Jason Abraham, with the Department of Natural Resources, said he thinks it may be a domestic dog, but he is still left with questions.
“The head suggests a canine, very likely a domestic dog,” Abraham said.
“However, the right front foot appears to have five toes, which is not typical for canines. Also, the long toenails are not typical for an active canine.”
Ilse said some of her guinea hens and cats are missing and suspects the animal or others in the area may be to blame. Several burrowed holes ranging from four to 10 inches in size were also spotted near where the animal was found.
Ilse said Kotts was able to check the creature out Wednesday afternoon and said it’s similar to a badger but has a much longer tail than usual, and took the carcass in for further testing.
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