Just as I was beginning to lose hope that we would get a good unidentified ‘monster’ story this summer, along comes this one!
When Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials received a picture of the roadkill from Alexandria, Minn., this week, it wasn’t clear what it was.
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.”it’s ear was all mis-shaped. To me, it looked like half-human.”
Ilse said she soon posted pictures of the animal on Facebook, and rumors 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.
The mystery animal was ghostly white and hairless, its neck bloated out of proportion with the rest of its limp body.
There were five front toes with long nails, so it most likely wasn’t a dog. Several employees, working off the picture, concluded it was a badger.
“If you look at the picture, it is weird-looking,” said Jason Abraham, a fur-bearer specialist with the DNR. “If there were four or five of these found on the road, we might have a bit more interest.”
“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.”
The badger, assuming that’s what it was, probably lost its hair during the decomposition process, Abraham said. The animal most likely lived in Minnesota, although the species is more commonly found in Wisconsin.
Folks in Alexandria Wednesday 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.
In 2006, residents of the North Shore were perplexed by a hairless animal roaming the woods. It turned out to be a timberwolf with mange.