By Prentiss Findlay. “… Mount Pleasant has been abuzz in recent weeks with talk of a mysterious creature roaming the woods that was so friendly it played with cats, yet so weird-looking it left those who witnessed it feeling unsettled.
Since the Mount Pleasant sightings became public, the critter has been reported bounding through the woods in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties. Some said it had sinister eyes. Others said it moved in a magical flash from one spot to another.
It’s been described as any number of odd crossbreeds including a dog and a deer or a fox and a weasel. One reader speculated that it was el chupacabra, the mythical creature said to suck the blood from goats…. “It’s unequivocally a gray fox,” said Jaap Hillenius, a biology professor at the College of Charleston.
But it’s not just any gray fox. No, this gray fox, delivered frozen from Mount Pleasant to the college, is an odd-looking critter. For one thing, it doesn’t have all the hair it’s supposed to. And the woman who found it dead in the road, Ann Concannon, said the proportions don’t look right to her.
But for now, Hillenius said that’s exactly what he’s got in his lab. A gray fox, albeit an odd-looking one. Hillenius said he is exploring a cause for the animal’s strange appearance. Is it mange? A bacterial infection? A virus? Could it be related to global warming?
“It may just be a wild goose chase,” he said. – MORE