What Is This Creature?

03/08/05 - KLTV 7

What kind of animal is this?

"Looks like a hyena or a greyhound, a messed up dog, ohh a horrible dog," says TJC Student Lyndon Gilford.

A man in Harrison County snapped this picture a few days ago. We showed it to you on a recent news cast and hundreds of you logged online to tell us what you thought it was. Answers varied, everything from a Peruvian hairless dog, to a naked fox, to an Australian dingo. Today, we got a similar reaction when we showed passersby the picture.

"I would say a cross between a jackal and a grey hound," said one woman.

"An ugly animal, I don't know a horse," says another man.

"It looks kind of messed up," said yet another.

Some of you e-mailed us claiming this animal was something called "a Chupacabra". That means "goat sucker". It's a mythical creature in Puerto Rican folk lore. A google search revealed pictures of what one may look like.

James Wright, a zoonosis vet with the Texas Department of State Health Services doubts this animal is a Chupacabra.

"So if I see this out in the country side I feel it is a canine and not from outer space," says Wright.

He thinks the animal is a type of dog or coyote suffering from severe mange.

"Most probably from demodectic mange," says James Wright. He says it causes the hair to fall out very badly.

Wright says this creature closely resembles one found in near Lufkin in Angelina County a few months ago. Experts believe it was a canine with severe mange. So for Wright the mystery has been solved, he says, the animal from Harrison county is a canine, but you can decide for yourself.

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