View Full Version : Mystery Animal in Washington DC suburbs

08-16-2011, 10:50 AM
Last night on NBC DC news they should video of this mystery animal. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Viewers-Sound-Off-on-Mystery-Animal.html) This isn't Texas or Mexico, we don't get this kind of thing around here.

There is a lot of speculation, could be a fox or a coyote or some kind of hairless dog. Seems odd that with all the publicity no one has positively identified it! Hoping some of the teeming millions can help... nothing like a good mystery animal.

08-16-2011, 10:59 AM
It's a Red Fox with severe mange (http://www.terrierman.com/mange.htm), as has already been proposed. Actually it has been "positively identified" by some people. It's just that the news media like to speculate that odd-looking animals might be something more exotic than they actually are (and take any opportunity they can to suggest it might be a chupacabra.;)) "All the publicity" is due to the media sowing doubt on the obvious explanation, not because the animal is actually unidentified.

08-16-2011, 11:05 AM
It's a chupacab...

Dammit, Colibri!

08-16-2011, 03:10 PM
Down around these parts, hairless mystery animals often turn out to be raccoons with generalized alopecia due to immunological problems, or of idiopathic origin. With the occasional mangey coyote.

And yet this one particular TV news broadcast always drags out the "C" word in their promos: "Chupacabras in south Texas?!?!? OMG!!! Is it a chupacabra?!??!? See video at 10!!!!" No. It isn't a chupacabra. There is no such thing. Please stop promoting superstition and ignorance. [/rant]

08-16-2011, 03:46 PM
Without reading anything written and just clicking on the link and seeing the picture, my first, and only, thought was, "It's a fox with severe mange." Even if a person is unaccustomed to seeing wildlife, wouldn't the most obvious answer be that it's a familiar animal suffering from some sort of ailment? Why jump to bizarre conclusions?

As an aside, if you ever happen upon a critter that appears to be suffering from mange, use caution around it and places it has bedded/nested. Two of the three most common types of mange (among canids, anyway) are highly contagious and humans are susceptible, as well as pass them on to other pets. In fact, Sarcoptic mange is what is known as scabies in humans.

08-16-2011, 08:22 PM
In a town a few miles from here a couple years ago they had a mangy coyote running around and before the media was done with it, they had it made out to be (I kid you not) a lion. Not a wolf, not a puma, an actual lion lion. In rural Ohio. Can't make it up.

08-16-2011, 08:39 PM
Another vote for fox with mange.

A good friend of mine used to be a federally licensed wildlife rehabber and I've beemn over at her house many many times when she's had animals. I was at her house when some park rangers brought over a very mangey fox one evening and it looked exactly like this.

We used kevlar gloves and pretty much employed bio-hazard protocols for handling the poor thing because it can be contagious to other susceptible mammals. (Also because it was clearly sick and probably had distemper as well, transmittable to domestic pets.) That fox unfortunately died, and before I went home to my house - I had a puppy at the time - I showered, scrubbed, left my clothes to be disinfected at my friend's house and borrowed a clean change of clothing.

08-16-2011, 10:08 PM
Not a wolf, not a puma, an actual lion lion. In rural Ohio. Can't make it up.

Obviously they can, and they did.

08-16-2011, 11:20 PM
It's a chupacab...

Dammit, Colibri!Colibri never lets us have any fun.

08-16-2011, 11:28 PM
Colibri never lets us have any fun.

I'll bet he calls in to Coast-to-Coast and debunks them right on the air!

08-16-2011, 11:38 PM
The species is Suckerus barnumii. Brought to you by your local media. I've seen a story like this before. Slow news day, they trumped up some "mystery animal" that was found dead in New England—complete with local yokels grinning, "Shucks, beats me what it is"— and in the picture it was obviously nothing but a regular old dog. It was a truly pathetic attempt to drum up interest, and sad that they take the public for such fools.