Friday, November 20, 2009

The saga of the Hyote

In the summer of 2003, a family living in Joppa (Harford County), Maryland, saw a strange canine beast. Eventually they set up some game cameras to capture images of the creature, and they weren't disappointed. They got the above picture of the mysterious dog drinking from a horse trough. The sightings and photographs mostly went unreported for a year.

The following summer, another family in Glyndon (Baltimore County) reported something similar seen meandering through fields nearby and again got photographs of it. The animal was soon labelled the Hyote (hyena/coyote), after the Joppa and Glyndon photos made the national news. A stunningly original name, maybe, but at least it wasn't called a El Chupacabra or something.

It wasn't long, though, until the Glyndon witnesses captured an animal in a trap. What they had captured was a juvenile red fox with a severe case of sarcoptic mange (although some felt that it was an endocrine disorder). And although the residents who saw the animal were adamant that it wasn't what they had seen, in the minds of the media, the mystery was solved.

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