Strange mammal on tape
Susan C. Ingram
Wildlife expert helps solve the case
"I think it's a hyena," said 12-year-old Glyndon
resident Mitchell Jones about a weird-looking animal seen
lurking around Glyndon the past few weeks. "It's
Sighted by a few residents in the leafy, well-tended
backyards along Butler Road, the animal is said to be
about the size of a small dog, with no fur, except for a
scraggly bit on its head and running down its spine.
Central Avenue resident Jay Wroe spotted the animal in the
backyard of his parents' home in the 4800 block of Butler
Wroe works for the family electronics business, which is
headquartered in a large garage on the property. He said
he saw the animal in a field one afternoon and wondered,
"What in the world is that?"
Being an electronics technician, he set up a motion sensor
to ring a bell in the garage. And he kept his video camera
said the bell rang last Monday and he ran outside, camera
at the ready. He captured about five minutes of video
footage of the animal roaming around and rooting in the
"When I first saw it, I went and got some more
witnesses. I tried to track it a little bit, but it goes
back through the big field over there," he said
pointing to an adjacent property.
Wroe said his neighborhood has all the usual kinds of
wildlife, such as deer and groundhogs, "but nothing
this wild. Nothing this bizarre."
"It's either a hyena, or a sick-looking fox," he
Neighbor Marie Cole has lived in her secluded Glyndon home
for 55 years.
She said the animal sat in the middle of her yard the
other day as she mowed the lawn around it.
"He just sat there and looked at me," she said.
"It's a fox with no hair, except on its head. I
figure he's got rabies or something."
Cole said she's seen red foxes on her property, usually in
"They got a pretty red coat and they don't stop and
stare at ya'. They're on the move," she said.
Wroe said a wildlife expert at the Gwynnbrook Wildlife
Management Area in Owings Mills looked at his videotape
and declared it a fox with mange.
"He said to just leave it alone. It shouldn't be any
kind of a threat," he said.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Web site, foxes account for only 5 percent of confirmed
rabies cases. Raccoons account for 85 percent.
Mange is caused by mites that burrow under the animal's
top layer of skin and lay eggs. A substance in the mites'
bodies causes an allergic reaction. The animal scratches
and bites itself causing wounds that get infected and the
animal's hair falls out. The condition is often fatal.
"We've gotten calls from people about foxes in that
condition quite often," said Ken D'Loughy, regional
manager for the DNR's Wildlife & Heritage Service.
"It depends on the condition of the animal if they
can make it."
D'Loughy advised people who spot foxes in their backyards
to make sure garbage cans are secure and not to feed pets
"Once you remove the food source they'll go somewhere
else," he said.
He said when people call the DNR with concerns, "we
try to educate them and allay their fears. Foxes aren't
Mitchell Jones and friends have dubbed the bedraggled fox
He said he and friend Kyle Wroe, also 12, will be keeping
an eye out for it throughout the summer.
"Unless it dies," he said.
Creature Lurks In Baltimore County
GLYNDON, Md. -- A mystery animal
is on the loose in Baltimore County and not even the
experts can pin down what it is.
Glyndon man found a way to secretly record the beast
while it grazed in his yard. For a while it was just
lurking in the woods watching the Wroe family until the
Wroes started watching it.
Wroe: "My truck was parked here, started getting in
my truck. I kind of saw it there where the sunlight is
and said what in the world is that?"
Wroe: "It looked so weird to me. I didn't know what
to get a better look at the beast stalking his family,
Jay Wroe put technology to work for him.
Wroe: "The next day, I hooked up just portable
motion detectors, and put them down back in the woods
Wroe: "Very bizarre. I went and got my father and
cousin and they came and looked at it and their
reactions were pretty much the same -- what in the world
are we looking at?"
than a month after the first sighting, the creature has
become a neighborhood regular and showing up often.
Carlsen: "It comes to our house. It's been up in
the woods for a while and it comes up through the bottom
of our yard and eats our cat food."
the fact it's lurking in these woods and no one knows
when or where it will come out, no one here seems afraid
Wroe: "I don't know, it doesn't look like it's
going to harm anybody."
the other neighborhood animals like Bullwinkle the dog
next door seem okay with the beast.
Carlsen: "It's not afraid of the cats and the cats
seem to get along with it fine."
beast is not shy, and visits most often under bright
sun. While no one here knows what it is, they do have a
name for it -- the hyote, a combination of a hyena and a
Animal Possibly Spotted In Harford Co.
07/21/04 - WBAL-11
JOPPA, Md. --
There may be
more than one mystery animal running around Maryland
-- there are pictures from a sighting in Harford
At the Mathis family's rural home in Joppa, they're
used to animals, but not this kind.
"I looked out the window and I saw something
drinking out of the water trough," said Lisa
Mathis. "It looked like something out of Lord of
"I couldn't figure out what it was," Mathis
said. "I though it was a dog and then I looked
closer and then I got the camera and pulled it in
closer just so I could show the rest of the
Mathis's sighting occurred about a year ago. They
didn't think much of it until last week when home
video of a very similar looking beast appeared on 11
"I saw it and immediately though of this picture
that my wife had taken," said Jon Mathis.
"(It) looked exactly like the same animal."
On their Harford County land the Mathises have seen
all kinds of foxes and other animals running around,
but never one like this.
"I'm from New Jersey so I immediately thought it
was the Jersey Devil," said Jon Mathis. "In
New Jersey folklore, it's a wild beast -- sort of like
the abominable snowman."
"My first impression was this was a red fox with
sarcoptic mange," said Paul Peditto from the
Department of Natural Resources.
With theories running wild, Maryland's Department of
Natural Resources says it's very likely a fox, but
even they can't be certain.
"We can't discount the possibility that someone
had some type of exotic mammal as a pet and released
it for whatever reason," said Peditto.
But even with maybe more than one so-called hyote
running loose, DNR is going to leave the beast or
beasts alone for now.
"We would respond if we knew we had a public
safety situation developing," said Peditto.
"If we had an animal that was acting in a way
that would put people in danger, we would respond
The only way to find out what the animal is would be
to trap it, but DNR says it would only do that if the
animal were seen as a threat.
Mystery Animal 'Seen' All Over The World
BALTIMORE -- Since the mystery
animal appeared on our Web site two weeks ago, millions
of people from around the world have looked at the
pictures and sent in guesses as to what it may be.
new pictures of a strange animal in Texas have some
wondering if it is the same creature seen in central
Pictures Of Mystery Animals (updated images)
farmer in Elmendorf, Tex., said a strange, blue creature
massacred his chickens and grabbed 35 of them in just
one day. When the farmer finally shot the 20-pound
animal and killed it, he was blown away at what he saw.
first thing that came to mind is surely everybody's
going to think this is a Chupacabra," Devin
Macanally said. "But it is so odd because it has no
Texas Animal Related To Maryland Mystery Creature?
Chupacabra is part of Mexican folklore. It supposedly
kills other animals by sucking the blood out of them.
people have written in with their guesses about what the
Maryland mystery animal could be. A Baltimore veterinarian
said he thought it was a dog with mange and an official
from the Department of Natural Resources believed it was a
e-mails from Australia, South Africa and Alaska have
labeled the animal as a razorback hog, a hyena, an
aardwolf, a coyote, a capybara, a Mexican hairless dog, a
warthog, a wolf, or an African wild dog. Some people say
the animal is a previously thought extinct Tasmanian Wolf
creature -- or one similar to it -- has also allegedly
been spotted in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New
Jersey, Texas and even England.
creature nets Glyndon man national attention
"In the future, everybody will be world famous for
15 minutes" - Andy Warhol
Glyndon resident Jay Wroe has gotten his 15 minutes of
fame. And then some. In the three weeks since the
Community Times was first to report that Wroe had
videotaped a strange-looking creature wandering around his
neighborhood, the story has gone national.
First to contact Wroe was the Sun supermarket tabloid,
based in Boca Raton, Fla. Then Baltimore's WBAL-TV 11 and
Fox 45 News came out for a chat with Wroe and a chance at
nabbing footage of the elusive creature that neighbors
dubbed the "quanak," and the "hyote."
WBAL posted the story on its Web site, as did the
Community Times. From there the story spread across the
A Google search of the words Glyndon, strange and mammal
brought up about 500 hits, including KMGH-TV in Denver,
KPRC-TV in Houston, and WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Ala.
But beyond the realm of news as information, what seems to
have ignited the public's imagination is the so-far
mysterious and unexplained nature of the story, and Wroe's
accompanying video showing a creature that is not
All manner of Web sites devoted to strange, weird,
unexplained and wacky phenomena have picked up the story,
Conspiracy theory Web sites, such as abovetopsecret.com
are running links to the stories.
which has headlines including "Giant rabbit is as big
as 3-year-old" and "Fish fall from sky during
Ocean Springs thunderstorm," also has "Mystery
creature lurks in Baltimore County."
Like many Web sites, cryptozoology.com
offers a discussion forum for visitors to add their own
theories to the mix.
By Monday there were more than 1,900 hits on cryptozoology.com's
Glyndon story link and more than 100 entries in the
Speculation on the critter abounds, with people suggesting
it is a coyote; a pet hyena; an aardwolf; a fossa, which
is a catlike animal from Madagascar; or a Tasmanian tiger,
which is believed to have been hunted into extinction by
At fark.com viewers
logged close to 300 comments on the discussion board
between July 19-22.
The Glyndon story also caught the eye of Ellie Baer, a
producer for the Sci Fi Network. Baer is working on a new
series called "Proof Positive," which hopes to
prove the existence of paranormal phenomena.
She found the story while searching online for ideas for
the show. She said it attracted her because of its
mysterious quality and its human side.
"Perhaps this is a creature we cannot identify, which
might make for an interesting segment on the
possibilities," she wrote in an e-mail interview.
"I like the human angle - Jay hoping to entertain the
kids in the hood with this creature, a friendly beast, not
your typical creature sighting. Maybe even the opportunity
to heal this poor creature if indeed he has mange."
All this attention prompted Baltimore County Animal
Control Supervisor Charlotte Crenson-Murrow to contact
Wroe about setting a humane trap to capture the animal.
"We were following a stray dog and he had dropped out
of site and we thought it was possible it was the
stray," she said.
Animal control set a trap last week in the backyard of
Wroe's parents' house on Butler Road, where the animal has
been most often sighted.
"We want to see if we can get it some veterinary help
or wildlife rehabilitation if necessary,"
She said her best guess is that the animal is a fox. But
she is not ruling out the possibility that it is a sick
dog. Besides mange, it's possible the animal has an
allergy to fleas or grass. "It's not unusual for a
dog to lose a lot of hair due to an allergy," she
If the animal is trapped, she said she would try to get it
In 2003, Animal Control dealt with more than 10,000 animal
cases, including owners turning in unwanted pets and calls
about stray and dead animals.
For his part, Jay Wroe said he is a bit overwhelmed by all
the attention, but is enjoying it nevertheless.
He said last week he and his wife, Amonda, fielded calls
from CNN and local radio station 105.7 FM, where the disc
jockey wanted to know if the strange animal sighting was a
"I had no idea it was going to be like this," he
said. "The post office has a poster up to name the
`Glyndon Mystery Monster.' "
Wroe has tried to come up with clever names, such as Snoop
Foxy Dogg and Harold G. Hyote (the "G" being
short for Glyndon).
He wants to have some input on what happens to the animal
if it is caught, and is concerned that animal control will
whisk it away and he'll never see it again.
"If it's a fox, I want to make sure it gets back to
health and then let go," he said.
"If it's a dog, I want to pay to get the thing
treated and keep the dog," he added. "This thing
made me famous. I gotta keep it. It put me on the
Set, New Pictures Taken Of Md. Mystery Animal
GLYNDON, Md. -- People have been
agonizing over the grainy pictures and home video of the
Maryland mystery animal -- guessing and trying to figure
out what it might be.
are new close-up pictures of the creature spotted again
in Baltimore County. The images show something that
resembles the animal first seen near Glyndon.
County Animal Control is teaming up with a resident to
catch the mystery animal. They placed a humane trap in
the back yard of Jay Wroe, the man who photographed the
creature more than two weeks ago on his property.
animal, beast, creature -- whatever it is -- comes in
the trap, steps on the plate and the door obviously
comes down behind it and traps it," Wroe said.
trap is baited with a steak and some cat food in a can
in hopes of catching the mystery animal. Wroe said he
thinks the creature may have a family.
Sunday, I came out back in the back yard and I came upon
this thing -- it didn't see me," he said. "I saw
it. I stopped. I immediately froze and this thing was
hideous looking. This is not the same one that I saw and
filmed on camera. This thing was brown and had gray spots
and it was the size of a cat."
Kaestner also saw the mystery animal and was able to get
some pictures and shaky video.
was driving to the golf course with my son, Ben, and Ben
said, 'There's the Glyndon monster'," Kaestner said.
got three great pictures and I thought, hey, I've got
movie capability and we'll take a quick movie," he
said. "Well, the animal kept running away from us as
we're taking the video, so the video didn't turn out but
the pictures turned out pretty darn well."
attempted to draw the animal closer to the trap by using
an old hunter's technique -- rubbing a sponge against a
is supposed to sound like a rabbit when it first gets bit
by a fox or something," said Wroe.
one large and possibly one small creature in the area,
Wroe walked through the woods behind his home. While no
animals were spotted, he did find the cat food can that
was originally in the trap.
must have drug it out of the trap and brought it down
here," Wroe said.
said the animal he saw does not appear to be lethargic or
weak. He said it is strong and energetic.
Mystery Animal Caught, Identified
Md. -- The mystery
may be over as one of the creatures roaming through
central Maryland was finally captured on Saturday.
to the veterinarians at Falls Road Animal Hospital, the
animal was a male red fox. However, Dr. Michael Herko -- a
vet at the animal hospital -- and the man who caught the
fox say it is not the mysterious creature videotaped in
July, but a relative.
Wroe set a trap in his back yard after videotaping an
animal that was roaming around. It was an animal he could
not immediately identify.
humane trap paid off on Saturday when Wroe went out to
check the cage and saw from a distance that he had caught
one is definitely the baby to the mother because the one I
filmed was obviously bigger than this thing," Wroe
control officers took the creature to the Falls Road
Animal Hospital. They determined it was a fox with
is a skin parasite that looks -- under the microscope --
like spiders," said Dr. Herko. "One of the signs
of the disease is hair loss and you've seen he's lost a
good portion of its hair -- a good 70 percent."
is hoping that since he's caught the baby that the mother
is not far behind.
control has custody of the fox and plans to rehabilitate
the animal to release back into the wild.
Animal Captured In Maryland
GLYNDON, MD -- All it took was a cage and a sirloin
steak. That's how neighbors in Glyndon, Maryland,
captured a strange looking animal.
Neighbors were calling it a monster, but it turns out it
was just a fox, with some serious health problems.
The Red Fox has a severe case of scabies, which caused
all its fur to fall out.
That, along with the small face and long tail, had
neighbors struggling to identify the animal.
Animal experts are now working to rehabilitate the red
Wildlife experts say where there's one sick fox there
may be more, so neighbors have been warned to be on the
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