Expert weighs in on mysterious creature spotted on golf course

A golfer in South Carolina took photos of a mysterious creature and posted them on Facebook, asking for somebody to "please tell me" what it was.

Doug Stewart, who was playing golf at Santee Cooper Country Club when he spotted the bizarre-looking creature, was pretty sure it wasn't a dog, but, like many others, was at a loss as to its true identity.

He received plenty of responses on Facebook with guesses that were serious, absurd and humorous, such as the suggestion that it was a giant ship rat; another suggested it was Lou Holtz.

The idea that it was the first sighting of the mythical creature called the chupacabra was also raised. Chupacabra, or “goat-sucker” in Spanish, is an urban legend stemming from an incident in 1995 in Puerto Rico in which eight sheep were found dead with puncture wounds and drained of their blood.

The most logical suggestions were that of a coyote with mange or a Samson fox.

"It's a canine with mange; it's not a Chupacabra—that you can put to bed," Jay Butfiloski, Furbearer Project manager for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, told WCIV.

Butfiloski, who heads research and management for coyotes, told WCIV it's either a coyote or fox, adding, "either way, it has got mange."

"I had one run in front of me on the way to work here in Charleston," one commenter wrote on Facebook. "A coworker was right behind me and saw it too. When we described it, they said it was a Sampson [sic] fox."

Another wrote that it's "no coyote with a tail that long and ears that big. Nope!"

Butfiloski told WCIV it was impossible to say for sure what species of canine it is without examining it in person.

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