The odd-looking animal spotted in several Piedmont counties last year evidently was a hairless gray fox.
That’s the conclusion of Jaap Hillenius. He examined the carcass of a similar animal that had been hit by a car in the Charleston, S.C., area.
So it wasn’t an exotic cross-species, though some central North Carolina residents who spotted the animals had reported it having the head of a cat and the body of a canine.
Just a fox sans hair because of a mutant gene, said Hillenius, associate professor in the biology department at College of Charleston.
Apparently, there are many around and they are all over the place. The hairy foxes do not discriminate against them either – they feed side by side.