Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Clarion County whatzit (1940)

Several representatives of a Pittsburgh zoo have joined residents in the Leeper and Snydersburg area in search for a strange animal said to have been seen in the district, according to reports received from Leeper. The animal is said to be about the size of a sheep with a head resembling that of a pig and a tail resembling that of a cow.

:: Warren Times-Mirror (August 5, 1940)

It's not made clear, but this seems to have been in Clarion County and in a pretty funky turn of coincidence, the article immediately below this one on the page mentions a state policeman named K.W. Leeper.

As to exactly what the creature was, I'm drawing somewhat of a blank. The piglike head summons up images of ursines, and its presumably possible that it could have been a mangy bear with a tufted tail similar to a cow's (though it wouldn't have been long enough) but it's also possible that it was a coyote. Coyotes possibly began to appear in Pennsylvania around this time (notwithstanding Henry W. Shoemaker's theories that some of what were historically called wolves in Pennsylvania were actually coyotes), probably either a mangy one or one with a tail denuded for some reason.


  1. Excellent website. I've read every post. Curious though - what is your source for the phantom wolf of Solebury Mountain near New Hope, PA?

  2. About that one - I saw a book years ago which mentioned it, but after searching and asking various other authors and such I've been unable to find anything else about it, so I have to think I might have misremembered the place or something.