A mystery creature roaming a cemetery in Merrimack, New Hampshire, was photographed by the town's police chief and posted on Facebook, where all kinds of guesses are being made as to what it is.
Nobody knows for sure. Even local authorities are baffled over its identity.
"To be honest, it looks like something out of a horror movie," Merrimack Police Lt. Matthew Tarleton told the Boston Globe. "I have seen some sick foxes and stuff, but this one—I don't know what it is—it's definitely unique-looking."
CBS News reported that some have speculated that the brown animal with patchy fur, long tail and square jaw is a zombie dog, a rapid coyote or perhaps the mythical "chupacabra, a purported gargoyle-like creature that drains the blood of goats and other victims." CBS News had its own guess: It's "likely a mangy fox."
Like officials and other residents, Carol Bosse, who walks her dog in the cemetery, is perplexed.
“It's very scary; it's an animal I don't know,” she told CBS Boston.
The photo was taken Tuesday by Merrimack Police Chief Mark Doyle on Baboosic Lake Road near the Upper Elementary School facing the Last Rest Cemetery, a block from the police station.
The image of the mystery creature was posted on the department's Facebook page, which said, "It's most likely a coyote and since the animal isn't menacing or vicious, we've been advised by Fish and Game to leave it alone as the pups are now moving about on their own."
"It definitely looked sick," Tarleton told CBS News on Thursday.
"I know some people have suggested that we nurse it back to good health, but it's not realistic. For an animal this sick, it probably needs to be put down."
Wildlife officials told CBS Boston that the animal's advanced disfiguring skin mange will likely blind it soon, making survival impossible. Residents are being warned to stay away from the mystery creature.
In the meantime, the speculation continues:
"It looks like road kill that got up and walked away."
"Looks like a fox with a bad case of mange."
"It's a coy dog, probably rapid if out in public."
"Looks like a tiny moose."
"It's a coyote with mange."
And then there was this guess:
"I believe the correct name for this critter is Photoshopicus compositus."
Good guess, but we'd hope the police chief wouldn't stoop so low.
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