Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I think the "mystery creature" in Maryland (via Boing Boing) is just a lost Nigerian pet Hyena.

The mystery creature or "Hyote"

Nigerian pet hyenas and baboons


I bet it's a shaved dog. This happens from time to time: the vet has to shave a dog to treat a skin condition. Someone sees it and reports a pigmy lion is loose or whatever (depending on what parts were shaved).

won't fit in a quattroporte though - i've tried...


a shaved dog?

presumably the vet, in this case, left the mohawk-like strip of hair intact in the name of fashion.

The shaved dog link:

Gob: so why not leave a strip unshaved? And the hair may have fallen off a feral dog with a skin condition. Anyway, heard of Occam's Razor? What's your explanation? A hyena? Not likely.

Actually, I was kidding. I don't really think it's a hyena, but I wanted an excuse to post that pet hyena thing.

It is a Xoloitzcuintli. Or what is known as a "mexican hairless"
dog. Mexican hairless dogs are naturally vegetarians, which would explain the grazing. It is usually seen in broad daylight, mexican hairless dogs are known to sunbathe. And it looks exactly like one.

i work at a veterinary hospital and it looks like a mixed breed dog with a severe case of sarcoptic or demodectic mange.

Why doesn't somebody capture the beast and take it to the vet? I'm not sure what kind of animal it is, but I'm inclined to agree with Amanda about the mange.

The red area on the left shoulder? Bad news, if you ask me. Not likely that it's merely "exotic coloring". Any DVMs in the house?

It looks like an Aardwolf, which is a type of hyena. Aardwolfs are shy and they are the only hyena that does not live on meat. They live in dens, so maybe he has mange from living in a wet den?

A later report finally quoted an animal expert (D'oh ... who wudda thunk to actually ask an expert ... not the original happy news reporter), and the guy said it's probably a red fox with sarcoptic mange (i.e., scabies). A quick search on that turned up many pictures. Here's one that shows the characteristic "mohawk" that results from the animal not being able to scratch the top of its head and back:

Whatever the animal is,(and i'm not making any guesses) I wish they would stop talking about it as if it were one single animal only in Maryland. I saw this animal over 2 years ago in NJ. I've told many people about my expierience, and they all thought i was crazy. I hope it can be caught harmelessly and identified with blood tests.

it is niether a hyena (because the rear legs are too long) nor a mexican hairless. a mexican hairless dog is almost less than half that size. this unidentified animal could very likey be a coyote with mange, although mange is most common in domesticated dogs. perhaps it is a pet coyote that no one will claim since wild animals as pets is illegal in many places.

If you look closely it you will see they are actually hyenas. What fox is this size?

I'm not sure what this k9 really is,
but I I saw which looked almost exactly
like this animal. here in Virginia Beach,
Va. I did not get a shot of it but it was
about 4:15 in the afternoon, very clear day.

AZ is right. These are gang members from Nigeria. Notice the chains they're kept on too. They keep poles with them for their own protection of them. I've seen more pictures - it's crazy, but they are hyenas.

Sorry, don't know about the mystery creature that the original question was!

I have been watching safari program all my life and i enjoy anything about africa. I have also seen hyena at the chicago zool, these are "hyena" I REPEAT!! these are HYENA!!!

go to your local libary and see for yourself.


it's a hyena why is there a doubt and I have seen pictures with Africans with them many times before

I owned a dog grooming shop and was a bio and art major. It is no dog the leg lines are like that of a hyena but like someone one pointed out the front legs are usually longer than the back, and in this photo it doesn't appear that way. I have drawn hyenas before and I would guess it is a brown or striped hyena with sarcoptic mange. Possibly an ard wolf would be the only other possibility. Not many animals have a neck of that length.

Well, the one in the top photo seems to be the unidentified creature u guys r talkin about. i have no idea what it is but those in the bottom pic are definately hyenas. iv seen other photos frm the same album and, having grown up in kenya, i can say with much confidence that they are not dogs but hyenas.

It's a coyote or red fox from the bad photos shown here. Seen the hair loss out in West Texas & the Ozarks before. Combination of mange & dermatitis backed by poor nutrition & bad or no water. Fur falls out, is scratched or chewed away. End of story

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