Stranger Fruit

Strange beastie in Maine


Boingboing has picked up on this story of a “hybrid mutant of something” found dead in Maine. Apparenty locals have, over the past few years, been “seeing and hearing a mysterious animal with chilling monstrous cries and eyes that glow in the night.” The above photo makes the animal look a litte weirder than it was. The one below is better:


My gut feeling – having worked on the morphoogy of wolf/dog hybrids – is that, if it’s anything out of the ordinary, it’s a cross of a dog and perhaps a wolf or coyote. As the original story notes, one has turned up before in northern Maine. It’s definitely not a hyena, dingo or fisher, Nor is is “half-rodent, half-dog” or “a pig/hyena hybrid

Apparently, no tissue sample was taken and local wildlife officials didn’t check it out. If there’s a skull somewhere, I bet that would yield an answer very quickly.


  1. #1 somnilista, FCD
    August 16, 2006

    Apparently, no tissue sample was taken and local wildlife officials didn’t check it out.

    Oh c’mon! No one thought to save a DNA sample? Bloody ridiculous.

  2. #2 Julia
    August 16, 2006

    We have our own local strange beastie described here and shown here.

  3. #3 mark
    August 16, 2006

    I know this one! It’s the missing link between Dog and Cat!

  4. #4 J-Dog
    August 16, 2006

    I believe that a cross of a fox and a dog gives us a “Fog”
    If it is in France, it is a “Frog.”

  5. #5 Craig Pennington
    August 16, 2006

    What features make it look unlike a feral dog? My first guess would be some mix with a black chow — and the mix only because of the relatively short hair.

  6. #6 Bruce Thompson
    August 16, 2006

    If I didn’t know better, I say closet Braminologist.

  7. #7 Kevin
    August 16, 2006

    There’s no way that’s the thing that killed a doberman and a rottweiler, unless they were still puppies at the time. Methinks the red-eyed devil-beast is still on the loose.

  8. #8 neintales
    August 17, 2006

    I’ve seen ‘weirder’ looking dogs in both animal shelters and in pure-bred dog shows. I think a few people were either too desperate to get their town in the news, or need to get out more and possibly subscribe to Animal Planet.

    Looks like dog/coyote or dog/wolf type to me, or even just REALLY inbred chow+something else mix.

  9. #9 CLIFF
    August 17, 2006


  10. #10
    August 17, 2006

    Yes, I had a half lab half chow that looked exactly like this. Sheesh. Give me a break. Although my chow WAS pretty evil.

  11. #11 Dan B
    August 17, 2006

    It looks like my ex

  12. #12 caroline
    August 17, 2006

    I think my fellow Mainers get a little bored from time to time and like to get all X Files and stuff. It’s a dog. I’ll go with the blue chow theory. Totally looks like one. Mystery beast! Ha! At least it got us in the news!

  13. #13 caroline
    August 17, 2006

    speculation is that this thing got killed by a car, so if that’s true, of COURSE it’s gonna look weird!

  14. #14 Patrick
    August 17, 2006

    OMG Julia! The Charleston “monster” is MY DOG! Okay, not likely, since she lives in Texas. But even so, that little foxlike thing is strangely reminiscent of the darling whippet type mutt that my family found a few years ago. We actually think she is the result of a greyhound breaking free of the local racetrack.

  15. #15 Sean
    August 18, 2006


    “…my chow WAS pretty evil.”

    I’ve never owned a Chow or Chow mix, but I can certainly attest to Ralph’s statement. I was pushing my wheelchair to a friend’s house one evening when I heard an odd scraping noise. It was a Chow in attack mode scrabbling up a rather tall cinder block wall. Luckily, soon after this particular beastie bounded over the wall, it got distracted and I was able to make my escape.

  16. #16 Ryan
    August 18, 2006

    Whats wrong with people these days. Do they not ever go outside…ever?

    Poor dog. They take photos of him/her and then call them a freak of nature.

    I’ve never heard of such inconsiderate lunacy! I can only imagine what their howl really sounded like… By the looks of their “hideous beast”, I’d say it may have sounded like sweet music.

    What a bunch of ASSHOLES.

  17. #17 Ryan
    August 18, 2006

    OMG, just had to add…

    “Eyes that glow in the night…” have these people been body snatched or something? What galaxy are these idiots from. Their as stupid as Sally, Dick, Tommy, and Hairy. Oh, and don’t forget The Big Giant Head. The above comment is likely his.

  18. #18 perry como
    August 18, 2006

    I am in two minds as to whether this is a hoax. But…

    WHY do people behave so stupidly? They’re ANIMALS not monsters! The ‘locals’ talk like inbred idiots. There must be any number of rare and wonderful mutant animals out there and species as yet undiscovered and we’re still teaching people to view everything as weird, ghastly and monstrous. It’s sad.

  19. #19 Teresa
    August 19, 2006

    As an anthropologist and a Mainer, I am fascinated by this case. It has a larger spin to it that plays into the typical Mainer mistrust of government (“state officials” refused to “do anything”—since they saw this as an ordinary roadkill situation). It also reflects the fascination people have with what scares them, along with the desire to make their fears bigger in order to justify them. I love that someone thought to call in a cryptozoologist! In today’s newspaper story (the third in as many days), a state biologist and the cryptozoologist agreed they think it’s a plain old dog and the genetic evidence confirms this. So, let it rest folks! (though one of my fellow anthropologists was quoted as remarking that “it will take more than this to kill the legend”). I guess you could add, “especially when the press has wrung so much out of it.”

  20. #20 JohnnieCanuck
    August 20, 2006

    When I look at those pictures, the most unsettling aspect is the blue colouration. The eyes, lips and tongue are all unnaturally blue. The discolouration of the grass is also blue. If this were converted to black and white, I would assume that the stains on the grass were blood.

    My conclusion is that the images were colour distorted in a way that left the grass and weeds green but shifted reds to blues. Incompetance or deliberate, I couldn’t say.

    A legend is being constructed as we watch. The AP article shows evidence of lots of magical thinking and anecdotes.

  21. #21 Doug Alley
    August 22, 2006

    Hi folks, I am a Mainer, and the newspaper from the area, The Sun Journal, took a paw from the carcass with the idea of a DNA check, as did an independant biologist. No word as yet, but I agree, this is a feral chow mix with mangled ears. And I do believe that the doberman killed was reported in Maine newspapers to be 16 years old. As for the rottweiler? My guess is a hungry chow mix is likely able to kill a fat house dog easily.

  22. #22 Anthony
    October 2, 2006

    it looks like a dog hyena hybrid, it has a shot tail and its back legs a smaller the its front legs and it generally looks like a baby hyena

  23. #23 savannah
    March 26, 2007

    i think that world dog that people are seeing because of whats going on around maine with the woods being cut down u are going to see alot more new animals around.

  24. #24 landry
    March 27, 2007

    looks like my ex too…maybe they are twins

  25. #25 Sasha and Christian
    March 30, 2007

    People these days don’t care about animals.It look’s like a baby hiena that has been mistreated by it’s pack(if it is in one).My cousin think’s it look’s like a chow and he think’s it has been shot.People that do that are cruel.And if you think the same thing write about it.

  26. #26 M
    April 3, 2007

    The animal is a mix, possibly wolf and Chow. Chow for sure, since the animal has a black tongue (you can make it out in the first pic if you know what you’re looking for, or know about Chow’s). The fur also looks consistent with that of a Chow, though a bit shorter but just as thick. A sad thing to see. That’s for sure.

  27. #27 Purple peter
    April 8, 2007

    will you people shut your ungly inbred faces, its a dog. Now go home and leave the doggy alone to rest.

  28. #28 The Science Pundit
    April 8, 2007

    It’s obvious that this is a CHUPACABRA!!!

  29. #29 K Leigh
    April 9, 2007

    It’s something out of a Stephen King book.

  30. #30 Susan
    April 13, 2007

    That was in Lisbon Maine… I don’t think it’s that people wanted their TOWN in the papers… it’s just, honestly… what goes on in Maine? We run low on stories to report… Yea that thing is TINY… IF there is a beast killing the dogs THAT’s not it…

  31. #31 alicia
    April 14, 2007

    I agree. It is way to small to go killing rotties and dobermans. And it deffinately has chow in it. That is a fact. The poor thing needs to be left alone. I myself am a Mainer and I think other Mainer’s need to shut up and get a life. Now because of your over reacting you have caused the poor thing to have it’s paws cut off just so you can have proof that a dog is a dog. Happy now. So everyone shut up. Get off the computer and get outside! THE END!

  32. #32 Leigh
    April 14, 2007

    I agree with the two people above me. It does look like chow. But when you look at the first picture it has a bears face. Except the ears are slightly pointed. i would like to know how it dies so you can know why it’s eyes are kind of protruding from it’s face.

  33. #33 Paige
    April 14, 2007

    It has a bears face and a wolf body. The muscley haunches and straight bushey tail. But the face looks like a bear.

  34. #34 andrew
    April 18, 2007

    holy shit whats that?

  35. #35 Robert
    April 23, 2007

    This animal is a warrah, Falk islands wolf, thought to be extinct in the wild. How it ended up there I dont know

  36. #36 Robert
    April 23, 2007

    I would like to add the words (could be) instead of is because after I posted that comment I had done a more extensive search on extinct canines. This animal looks likes it could actually be canis dirus or in other terms the dire wolf.

  37. #37 irrelevant
    May 3, 2007

    It never ceases to amaze me how closed minded people can be especially here in good o’l Maine where nothing out of the ordinary could ever happen (there is a hint of sarcasm here). My opinion if it is worth anything is that this beast as so many people call it is not a chow or any other type of domestic dog. The eyes of this animal are those of a human with whites showing where if you look at any dog’s eyes the whites do not show. Also the mouth and teeth are not that of a dog’s. There aren’t any canine teeth and for you idiots that do not know what these are they are the sharp fang like ones in the front. The teeth also are not as sharp and pointed as a dog’s. The body definitely could pass as a dog but there are other features that people are not open minded to such as the ones I have listed. Also to ears of a Chow are not as big and pointed as the one on this animal or beast. Wisen up people and do the math!!!!

  38. #38 jordan
    May 11, 2007

    wat a set ov geeks you can tell it is made up and if it was reall why is no 1 doing any tests on it just proves some sadoos made it up

  39. #39 Sally Joe Bob
    May 30, 2007

    I think it’s mean that people take pictures of something that died and put them on the internet! Its stupid! It’s just a poor animal! It is probably just a blue chow like others before me have said and it got hit by a car. God people, it’s not a big deal…

  40. #40 Arsenic
    June 6, 2007

    I don’t know about you kids, but Mark and j-dog no nothing about genetics. Foxes can’t breed with dogs, wolves or coyotes. And dog can cat? Are you retarded?!

    It’s just some cow-mixed with a small dog. But unlike M I don’t think it’s wolf. It’s small. But the BLUE TOUNGE kinda gives it away.

    I have come to the conclusion that whoever posted this is just a retard that doesn’t know what a mutt is when he sees one.
    Hence why the self-proclaimed “expert” didn’t do any DNA work. Kudos to somnilista for pointing it out.

  41. #41 Jessica Yergin
    June 9, 2007

    It’s a chow mix. I live in Maine, right near where this happened. They did take a DNA sample that’s how they know it was a dog. Then later a lady from Florida who was up visiting Maine claimed it was her dog that got loose during her vacation.

  42. #42 Janine
    June 18, 2007

    A black fox.

  43. #43 Robert
    July 2, 2007

    I think it looks like a mix between dog and wolf.

  44. #44 Heidi
    July 13, 2007

    I’m from Maine- it really happened- honestly this is the first photo I’ve seen of it but I’d bet you money its a cross between a Schipperke (pure breed dog that looks a little like a pig/bear cub/ fox- I have one and LOVE HER!)and a chow.

  45. #45 Kalynn
    July 15, 2007

    I think it may be a cross of a wolf,sheppard,and possibly a chow. I think this because my friend has a mix of a sheppard and im pretty shore a wolf or chow and it has some features that look like that.

  46. #46 Toxic Jungle
    July 17, 2007

    It’s a dead dog…….

  47. #47 Zach
    July 17, 2007

    There’s no way it could be a wolf cross. Just look at the snout it way to short as well as its head looks way too freaky. I can definately see the warrah possibility but the location makes no sense.

  48. #48 evileve
    July 27, 2007

    i think its a mythical creature cause it has the short back legs like a hyena and the flat teeth like a human and the two cainine teeth so lets leave it a mystery cause theirs not many mysteries left in the world

  49. #49 Lark
    July 30, 2007

    Tails can easily be odd looking. I had a lab-mix who was born with half a tail…it was the weirdest thing. As for the face, it looks weird…but has anyone seen that dog that looks like a little teddy bear?? THAT is the mutant dog. jeez.

  50. #50 esme
    July 31, 2007

    definately looks like a chow mix – the blue tongue is a giveaway. i’d go for chow/coyote or maybe chow/fox. not hybrid monster.

  51. #51 Sarah
    August 26, 2007

    OH come on!! It’s a mixed dog!! A two- year old can figure that out!! Gosh- People these days!!

  52. #52 jo billy jo bob frank
    September 5, 2007

    the heck its a dog leve it alone god how would you like it if you got hit by a car then some one took pictures of you?

  53. #53 A.L.F.
    September 5, 2007

    im sewing who ever out this pic on the internet

  54. #54 Anonomous
    September 5, 2007

    What a bunch of dumb asses for their information I am a WOLF fanatic

  55. #55 Joann
    September 6, 2007

    Yeah, my first impression was a blue chow mix

  56. #56 brooke & kennedy
    September 8, 2007

    omg!!! this thing is messed upp….. amagine seeing that one night in your back yard….i would pee my self…lol..

    p.s. bah ha ha

  57. #57 Kayla Mosley
    September 11, 2007

    ITS A FREAKIN DOG MIX! Duh! gosh people theses day are so easily amused by a mix, dead on the side of the street..

  58. #58 brittany schmidt
    September 19, 2007

    what in the world is that ? it looks like a wolf part dog

  59. #59 Tiffany Duncan
    September 19, 2007

    that is just wrong how would you like it if they did that to you.

  60. #60 maggie hunt
    September 21, 2007

    well it ha a odd face but its not sum tin 2 freak out about.

  61. #61 imadude
    October 10, 2007

    aw… it looks so cute! you people are crazy if u think a dog is a mysterious monster! “Apparently, no tissue sample was taken and local wildlife officials didn’t check it out. If there’s a skull somewhere, I bet that would yield an answer very quickly.” that gives u a hint its not a “MUTANT”. to me it looks like you people just wanna make somthin up to get some money….

  62. #62 imadude
    October 10, 2007

    why do u peps want money! thats so selfish. this dog will come and haunt u… u guys are the freaks if u think this poor dog is a freak. seriously

  63. #63 New York Bitch
    November 4, 2007

    You know what this animal looks like? My Chow black lab mix. Oh my god, would anyone every think it could be a dog that was abounded by it is owner and now it had to offend for itself? Dogs that are alone do howl looking for companionship ah duh people pick up a book and read about pack behavior. It will tell you dogs are very social animal. Oh wait, education is non-existing up there, I forgot reading isn’t in your abilities.

    You know what is sad my father’s side of the family is from Maine the whole damn family, and they are just as weird and crazy as everyone that is trying to say that this DOG is a mutant. Please people mutant animal give it up! The only thing that is mutant and I can say this because 50% of my family is from Maine, is the people from Maine.

    (I am please to say my father does not think this dog is a mutant animal. He agrees with me, it looks just like my dog.) I am lucky my father left Maine at the age of 17 and moved to NY when he did, it saved his mentality level.

    The New Yorker

  64. #64 joseph maylay
    November 5, 2007

    its a dog

  65. #65 Liz
    November 5, 2007

    Man !!! I shouldnt had kicked my husband out of the house !!! NOW HE IS DEAD AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO !!! Someone help me !!!!

  66. #66 sean
    November 15, 2007

    I dont get it why do people these days fined somthing strange in the woods and if they dont understand what it is they think it must be a beast of somesort and the DNA sample that was lost :) theirs no way it must just be a dead dog with a little computer animation.

  67. #67 sarah
    November 26, 2007

    stop animal creuty please now

  68. #68 becky
    November 28, 2007

    It is just a dog. It looks funny in the face because it is dead, any animal looks strange if its bin dead a while.

  69. #69 muhamad
    December 4, 2007

    anybody seen Cujo just saw it for the first time

  70. #70 dr. james hamilton
    December 4, 2007

    this issue reminds me of people sueing companies for stupid stuff. For example the mc donalds coffee incident, the old lady spilt it on her and she sued mcdonalds for her coffee for being 2 hot. Well no dip its going to be hot feel the cup with ur hands if its to hot to touch it just might be to hot to drink the old lady should die

  71. #71 kayla
    December 6, 2007

    Why do huntters kill POOR LITTLE ANIMALS

  72. #72 Ameris
    January 18, 2008

    This is weird!! There are mysteries out there and we are just dust compared to the universe

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