Beast of Bolivia

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 14th, 2007

A mystery killer, called the “Beast of Bolivia,” after the location of Bolivia, North Carolina, is said to be terrorizing the area.

Bolivia is situated on the border with South Carolina. A total of 148 people in 45 families reside in the town.

(Update: Click on Beast of Bolivia Track to view the alleged imprint of this cryptid.)

An unknown predator mauled a pit bull and killed two
puppies in Brunswick County, and residents fear it’s the same animal that killed
three dogs in September [2007]. No one has reported ever seeing the animal.

The county’s animal control agency investigated the animal’s tracks, droppings
and other clues but couldn’t determine what attacked the dogs. Locals call the
unknown animal the Beast of Bolivia.

Some residents and experts said the predator may be a bear, a wayward panther or
cougar, or even a wolf because 3-inch paw tracks were found at the scene.

Many suggest the predator came from the nearby Faircloth Zoo, which had a lion
and a tiger before it closed more than a year ago. Animal control officials said
the animals were sent elsewhere.“Mystery Beast Kills Animals in S.C.,” AP/Source: The Star-News, December 12, 2007.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

45 Responses to “Beast of Bolivia”

  1. Doug responds:

    At least they didn’t say it could be an escaped animal from an accident involving a circus.

  2. thehoch responds:

    The Beast Of Bolivia?

    I’ve got it…

    Maybe it was a llama with mange.

    To the trailcams Batman!!!!!

  3. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    wrong Bolivia thehoch. this Bolivia is in north Carolina

  4. shumway10973 responds:

    Well, attacking a pit bull the creature in question has no fear. Cougars have been seen in down town L.A. snatching pets for lunch. Panther or
    cougar is possible. Wouldn’t the bear population out there be black bear? They really don’t go looking for confrontations with dogs. Plus, any black bear being that desperate for food would be willing to go after people too.

  5. Ceroill responds:


  6. Bob K. responds:

    I second Ceroills post. Obviously a case of otter predation-case closed.

  7. Richard888 responds:

    Could a wolf kill a pit bull?

  8. rayrich responds:

    Can a wolf kill a pit bull? All I can tell you is that Cody, one of my late beloved Alaskan Malamutes(the closest related breed to the Wolf) was once attacked by the largest pitbull I had ever seen and one that was obviously trained to fight. Cody was a big guy weighing close to 150 pounds and had the neck of three pitbulls while covered with thick fur. That pitbull would have died if I didn’t kick old Cody off him. Cody was nine at the time and had no problem with this much younger adversary. So, I don’t think a Wolf in good health and posture would have any trouble disposing of a pitbull.

  9. mystery_man responds:

    Maybe a fox squirrel? 🙂 Is there any indication that this could not have been done by one of the most sinister and dangerous predators of all- US? The paw tracks could have been left by anything and do not necessarily have anything to do with the culprit. I’m wondering if some sicko humans didn’t do it.

    As to wolves versus a pit bull, I will say that a wolf has a much more powerful bite than any domesticated dog, and would probably hold its own very nicely against a pit bull. But that scenario avoids the larger picture to me, which is if that sort of scenario would happen at all. I’d say that under normal circumstances, the wolf would probably flee rather than face a confrontation with an animal that could potentially harm it, like a pit bull. It has nothing to do with whether it could “win” or not but rather because even top predators in the wild will typically avoid attacking very healthy, strong animals if it is at all possible, as an injury can cause major problems towards securing prey.

    So if it wasn’t active hunting, maybe the wolf was defending itself against the dog? Who knows? There are not a whole lot of details concerning this story, but in my opinion a healthy, normal wolf would likely not try to take down a full grown pit bull unless there was no other course of action. A sickly wolf would most certainly not. If the wolf could get away, I think it likely would. There is simply easier prey to be had, so why take the risk? Even a starving wolf would likely be wary of pursuing such prey, and if it was starving or destitute, I doubt it would have finished off a pit bull like that in the first place. I just do not see a marauding wolf, especially if it was alone, slaughtering a pit bull like that. I really do doubt a wolf did this.

    A bear would be a more plausible culprit in my opinion, but as I said before, humans are definitely capable of something like this. I sure would like more details on this one.

    Or it was otters. Swimming in a line. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  10. Cryptid Hunt responds:

    I wonder if Monster Quest will do a episode on this.

  11. gkingdano responds:

    MUST be a llama-otter hybrid with mange that escaped from a circus!

  12. springheeledjack responds:

    We need more facts on the kind of bite marks, how it was killed (bite to neck, dismboweled, gunshot, etc:). I do believe cats usually go for the neck do they not???

    A pit bull is hardly easy prey, so possibly bear, big cat, alien abduction, Ben Radford…

  13. sausage1 responds:

    Has anyone said ‘man in a llama suit’ yet?



    Obviously a man in a llama suit.

  14. mystery_man responds:

    springheeledjack- Right, the condition of the bodies is exactly the type of detail I’d like to know on this one. The way the dogs were attacked and type of wounds could tell a great deal about what kind of animal did this. I’d also like to know just what kind of condition the bodies were in, things like whether any part of them had been consumed, the extent of the damage, and so on. I think the time of day the attacks happened could be of importance too, as well as a more in depth analysis of any tracks found in the area.

    As it is, it is hard to speculate too much as the article doesn’t give any real details at all. All I know is that, like I said before, out of the animals that could or would kill a pit bull, wolves are not high on my list of potential culprits. Hard to say anything for sure though.

  15. wbp responds:

    I don’t think a pit bull would have much of a chance against a black bear that has “forgotten the rules” (i.e., that they normally avoid confrontation with dogs, as Shumway 10973 has said). Bears have frighfully powerful jaws, long claws, and are very strong. A rogue black bear in the Carolinas would be quite dangerous to most anything it encountered.

    Do mountain lions live in the Carolinas? I’m under the impression that east of the Mississippi they are found only in the Everglades and in remote pockets in the mountains of New England (and this later point is somewhat controversial–don’t know that it has been proved outright).

  16. Mnynames responds:

    Well, while I agree that an investigation of the carcasses may prove beneficial, I would like to know more about the prints left behind. If the tracks had no claws, my money’s on a Cougar. If they did, then I would suggest bear (Although I suspect the size of the tracks alone might tell you that). Certainly both are more probable than a Wolf, which are unlikely to have migrated there from Yellowstone…

    Anyway, I seem to recall there was a relatively recent Black Panther sighting from around there (maybe it was Georgia or the other Carolina, I forget, but in any case we know Cougars can range quite a bit). Even though the witness was a park ranger, the wildlife officials blamed it on…yep, that’s right, an Otter.

    All joking aside, Otters can be vicious little buggers. Could it be an Otter (with or without mange)?

  17. kittenz responds:

    Pit bulls are dogs, not supernatural killing machines. Those that are used for fighting are specifically trained to kill, by the dregs of human society who participate in the organized crime of dogfighting. Pit bulls that are used for pit fighting have to be taught how to fight like that, to a kill, from a young age; untrained pit bull dogs fight the same way that most other dogs fight – for dominance.

    Unless pits are socialized to other dogs, they tend to be somewhat dog-aggressive. But so do many other breeds, especially toward dogs os the same sex. An ordinary pit bull, a pet or run-of-the-mill yard dog, is as apt to get the worst of it in a dogfight as any other dog. The size, weight, strength, stamina, and individual level of aggression and experience of each dog are the important factors in the outcome of a fight; the breed has very little to do with it. Individually, big dogs such as GSDs, collies, akitas, malamutes, etc, which have loose skin and thick fur around the neck region, are usually more than a match for an average pitbull type dog, unless the pit is a trained fighter.

    A gray wolf can kill almost any individual dog. They have to kill to eat, and a dog is just another prey animal to them. I seriously doubt that a gray wolf or wolves is killing dogs in North Carolina, though; even before they were mostly exterminated in the Eastern US, gray wolves were not common in the South.

    Red wolves are indigenous to the Carolinas, but they are so rare that they can priobably be eliminated as the possible predator in this case.

    People tend to underestimate coyotes. Coyotes are becoming very common in the East, particularly in the Southeast and the Appalachian mountains. The coyotes here are often considerably larger than the coyotes in the West, and they are becoming a force to reckon with as predators. There is prey and cover here year-round, and I can attest to their elusiveness and efficiency as predators: over the past three years they have carried off at least fourteen of my own outdoor cats, and several dozen more cats and dogs in my neighborhood. A coyote woke me up three nights ago, howling and yapping on the hill behind my house. They have run across the highway in front of me and I’ve seen maybe a dozen roadkilled over the past couple of years. Neighbors with a trailcam set up see them almost every night. I’ve found their scats and tracks on the dirt road behind my house. Yet I have never seen actually one on my property; they are that elusive.

    Coyotes also have to kill to survive. They usually hunt in pairs, and they can easily kill all but large dogs. The Bolivia predator(s) could very well be coyotes. They are the most likely wild animal in my opinion.

    I doubt very much that the predator is a panther, bobcat, or any other kind of cat. Wild cats will very occasionally take dogs as prey, opportunistically, but they generally do not leave droppings about when they do. Ditto for bears. Bears come around human dwellings looking for garbage, or to raid bird feeders, or to eat dogfood left outside, but they usually don’t approach yards where there are dogs. Neither bears nor wild cats like to be noticed, and even a small dog barking in a yard is usually enough to deter them, though it would be easy prey.

    There is another kind of predator, widespread and common in the southeastern US, that may be the most likely of all: feral dogs. Feral dogs usually run in packs of anywhere from a couple to a couple dozen animals, and they will prey on anything. Many of them are very bold around humans, and they don’t hesitate to attack other dogs. They leave droppings and tracks about as indiscriminately as do pet dogs. They can be as cunning as coyotes, but as bold as brass. Most often those that survive to run in packs are medium-to-large sized animals. Feral dogs can be dangerous to pets, livestock, and even humans, especially children. When I read this article my first impression was “feral dogs did this”.

  18. squatch-toba responds:

    I agree with mystery man, bear sounds most reasonable. Do wolves exist in the Carolinas’?? I would also like to know more about the tracks. 3 inch tracks? 3 inches long?, wide?, or deep?

  19. kittenz responds:


    The black panther sighting to which you are referring was along the Chattahoochee River, which forms part of the border between northern Georgia and South Carolina.

  20. Ceroill responds:

    Red wolves have been reintroduced in North Carolina in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

  21. springheeledjack responds:

    Personally, I like the idea of a population of vicious, carnivorous otters loose upon the world…Roger Corman, where are you man?

  22. NightFlight responds:

    Being from SC, I googled Bolivia, NC to verify location. Its about 10 miles Southwest of Wilmington, NC and a little more than 20 miles Northwest of the SC border, very close to the Atlantic coast. Interesting thing is it borders a military sea terminal area. I also visited the “Bolivia Forum” also found a link to it on google. Laughed my butt off reading the conjectures there. I also noticed it is about 50 miles from where the lizard man was sighted years ago, but I don’t believe he’s grown 3 inch paws, though.

  23. NightFlight responds:

    Another dyslexic moment, that should have been 20 miles Northeast of the SC border…
    BTW, Ceroill, we have had red and grey wolves along with coyotes (re)introduced into SC by the DNR (who now deny it for some reason) to reduce the deer population. The deer were crashing into cars at an alarming rate and the insurance premiums were going up because of it. We also have a healthy population of brown bears and (ugh!) otters, too.
    Something to think about, I lost a dachsund to a male beaver that happened to be traveling between ponds right after we moved out to the farm about 11 years ago. Those things get upwards of 100 pounds and can be nasty fighters when cornered. A healthy beaver could easily take on one or two pit bull terriers, quickly. They also have three to four inch webbed feet which may look like paws in certain soils.

  24. Ceroill responds:

    Nightflight: I thought I had heard about grey wolves being released, but on a rather cursory google search the only mention I could find was of a red wolf release. Thanks for the info.

  25. fizzyb responds:

    I don’t recall gray wolves having been released in South Carolina. (I reside in the Piedmont region of North Carolina) When did this occur? I have read extensively about the Red Wolf recovery program and have been by the Alligator River Refuge, though. I’m glad they are recovering the red wolf – it would be a shame to lose such a beautiful animal forever.

    I personally think what is killing these pets is coyotes, though. It is typical of a coyote to attack pets and their paw prints would be well within the range of the 3″ paw print mentioned in the article.

  26. marppop responds:

    I am from SC, not far from Bolivia,which is a pretty rural area.There were red wolves released at Alligator River,but that is about 5 hours away.Red wolves were also released north of Charleston,SC, but they did not make it.Red wolves are much smaller than gray wolves.They could not,in my opinion, kill a pit bull.Coyotes are small also.No gray wolves have been released in NC or SC.We do have many, many black bears and they are on the move all the time.Sightings of bears are the norm.There was a Bigfoot sighting in Little River,SC- near the NC/SC border this fall.

  27. zytebac responds:

    I agree with the coyote theory. Alone, they are not that formidable and don’t usually pose a threat. But in packs they can be deadly to animals bigger than themselves. I know of one case where a pack of them were seen taking down a few-days old calf. One of them was shot by the witness and he said that the mother of the calf tried to intervene but that there were too many of them. And although he killed one, and scared off the rest, the calf still died of its injuries.

  28. Ceroill responds:

    Both coyotes and feral dogs are good possibilities, as well, I think, as coydogs, that is coyote/dog crossbreeds. Not common, but definitely known of, I seem to recall.

  29. mystery_man responds:

    Kittenz- I’m not so sure I agree that a wolf would actively kill and eat a dog normally. A wolf could certainly take down a dog if it wanted, but wolves are not supernatural feeding terrors either. They have to kill to eat, of course, but I wouldn’t say that a domesticated dog is just another prey animal to them. Like any predator, the easier prey is the one typically most likely to be pursued and under normal circumstances large dogs are not necessarily easy prey. Like I said before, a wolf COULD kill a dog, but I’m not so sure it would if other prey was available. Wolves can be wary animals and are not really as aggressive as some people like to give them credit for. Like with the big cats, I think a fairly big dog barking and snarling away could possibly make them rethink their dinner plans, regardless of whether the wolf COULD kill it or not. Then again, I suppose a lone, non aggressive dog tied up in a yard might be an attractive target, especially if the wolves were accustomed to seeing dogs. But for the most part I think a dog would only be taken as prey by a wolf opportunistically.

    I agree that coyotes are possible. They tend to be pretty bold predators and I have heard many stories about them attacking dogs. One possible culprit that you mention, the feral dogs, are very likely. They can be pretty vicious and indiscriminate, without any of the natural shyness that some wild predators can exhibit. I am starting to think that feral dogs are a likely candidate.

    The only reason I mentioned bears before, is that a bear might do this to a dog that took it by surprise or if it was defending its cubs from the dog, not because it wanted to eat the dog. Or maybe it wanted into some trash and the dog got in the way. If the bear was very hungry, and really wanted to get at something with a dog standing in between, I suppose it is possible the bear might kill or maim the dog to get to what it wanted.

  30. mystery_man responds:

    Something that I feel is important to remember concerning this case is that this is not really about which animal could “win in a fight”. All of the animals mentioned, big cats, bears, and wolves are certainly capable of killing a dog and some might even take one as prey opportunistically. However, what matters when considering the options is the value a healthy dog can have as a deterrent, not whether it can hold its own against any of these predators in a fight (which it most likely cannot). I’m sure there are those here who can attest that dogs, especially a good guard dog or one that barks a lot, can be very good at deterring predators.

    It has already been mentioned how effective even a smaller dog can be at keeping away bears and cougars, and there are some breeds of dogs used as predator control dogs, whose purpose is not so much to engage predators, but keep them at bay and away from livestock. Predators can be cautious and wary, and can be shooed off by a large dog. Now of course I realize that a pitbull is not a a predator control dog and is not necessarily trained to be a killing machine either. My point is that a reasonably large, barking dog can be a good deterrent in many cases against a range of potential predators, and that includes wolves as well.

    In my opinion, whatever killed this dog was probably pretty bold. If the dog was at all aggressive and putting up a fuss, then I feel whatever attacked it really wanted it. The animals that I personally feel would have the requisite boldness to go for it are feral dogs, maybe coyotes, and possibly a bear who was put in the situation where it had to hurt the dog.

  31. Mnynames responds:

    So let me see if I got this right- We’re dealing with an area rife with at least Red Wolves (Possibly Grey as well), Bears, Coyotes, Feral Dogs, Bobcats, Otters, and killer Beavers (How’s that for a movie title?) where Lizard Men, Sasquatch, and Black Panthers have been reported. I imagine we can throw in UFO’s for good measure, as I recall strange lights were seen in the same general vicinity as the Lizard Man back in 1989. Sounds like a pretty cool place to go camping…

    I agree that the most likely culprits in this case would be Coyotes or feral Dogs, maybe a Bear, although given the Panther report they’re still a possibility.

    For sheer fun and coolness, however, the killer Otter or Beaver theory holds great appeal, or maybe whatever this is is the Lizard Man’s escaped pet, LOL.

  32. kittenz responds:

    Wolves can and do kill and eat dogs. People who live in wolf country either keep their dogs close to home, have more than one dog (wolves are more likely to prey on individual dogs than on dogs in a pack), or, if their dogs run loose at night, they become resigned to losing a dog from time to time. When you hear of a wolf/dog hybrid, that animal was almost certainly captive-bred, from wolves that have been socialized to dogs from a young age. Wolves and dogs simply do not associate, as a rule, except in unnatural conditions such as captivity.

    With rare exception, dogs are easy prey, and a dog out in the woods is just another prey animal to wolves – an easy prey animal at that. Wolves being the opportunistic predators that they are, they will kill a dog where they find it, if they are hungry.

    I don’t believe it’s wolves in this case though. Though red wolves have been reintroduced in parts of the Carolinas and Tennessee, and rumor has it that gray wolves have been released in the East too (I doubt this, unless some have been released by hunters as sport animals, they way that coyotes have been from time to time), the fact remains that the red wolves are very, very few in number and they are intensively monitored.

    Even though gray wolves in the wild will kill dogs opportunistically, they are not known for coming into human habitations and killing dogs. Coyotes are; they have a growing reputation for that sort of thing. And they are viscious fighters; they can rip a dog up pretty badly even when the dog is the larger animal. They bite rapidly and forcefully. The bite wounds that I have cared for, from known coyote attacks on dogs, are more severe as a rule than bites incurred when both the animals are dogs. I say “as a rule”, because of course this varies from case to case.

    I’m sure that bears probably have attacked pet dogs on occasion, but those occasions are very rare. The reasons that predator-control dogs are effective are two-fold: the dogs are trained to exploit their natural antipathy to other predators and their territoriality, and the bears do not like to be noticed and have their cover blown by barking dogs.

    Sometimes people for whatever sick, sadistic reasons, kill and mutilate dogs or other animals too. I doubt that people did this though. From the sparse information in the articles it really sounds like the work of feral or stray dogs or coyotes.

    I have seen feral dogs attack other animals, and believe me, they can be frightening. I have a friend whose hound – a very experienced hunting dog, a large male coonhound – was literally torn to shreds by a pack of about 7 or 8 feral dogs. Coonhounds are big, tough dogs. The dog was still alive when my friend brought him to me, but we could not save him. My friend shot two or three of the dogs but the others still kept attacking, even attacking their own pack members after they were injured. They finally dispersed only after he had shot several more times. None of the dogs was anywhere near as big as the coonhound.

    Dogs in a pack enter into a sort of frenzy when they are attacking prey or other dogs. Some people call it a “red zone”; I personally think that term is a bit melodramatic. It’s just normal canine pack behavior; just watch any nature show about wolves or painted dogs or dholes or dingoes, and the behavior is the same. The difference is that feral dogs, while they are cunning around people, are not really afraid of people.

    Bears might opportunistically kill a dog in a yard, but from the information given here, the animal or animals have killed dogs at more than one time and location. That’s why I think that feral dogs, not bears or wolves or wildcats, are the most likely culprits in this case. Feral dogs, or maybe coyotes.

  33. Alligator responds:


    I think you gave a very good analysis. The details are so sketchy on this report it really is a matter of speculation, but feral dogs are a good suspect as they cause tremendous destruction to wildlife and domestic animals. We had a situation a few years back in or state where a farmer lost about 30 pigs to an “unknown” animal. He actually was interviewed on air and said it was mountain lions, but the evidence came back as feral dogs. For example none of the pigs was eaten and there were bite and chew marks all over, typical for wild dogs but not lions. Usually lions leave only bite marks on the neck or throat and claw marks on the back of the animal they bring down. Then they rip the gut open to eat the soft organs first. Even after that he was not totally convinced.

    Usually feral dog damage does not end up reported by the media UNLESS someone attaches a cryptid label to it or says it was a major predator like a bear, mountain lion or wolf (usually in states where those animals have been rare or absent for some decades). Another animal that can readily kill a dog is a badger, but alas, North Carolina is a long way out of their range. Some have joked a bit about an otter, but contrary to the movies, an otter cornered on land is a dangerous animal. They are members of the weasel family (like badgers and wolverines). It would be highly unlikely for a dog to catch one on land, but if it did, that would be the end of the dog. Yet another animal that could kill dogs would be a feral hog or wild boar, and these do roam in some areas the Carolinas. They are dangerous and pretty aggressive (I’ve had two close encounters) and can rip a dog to shreds in nothing flat. I’m still betting on a pack of feral dogs as the likely suspect.

    It’ll be interesting to see if any follow up reports and more details come out of Bolivia, but I doubt that they will. The news media has the attention span of a two year old child and the lead story they lose interest in these things.

  34. fizzyb responds:

    There is no area rife with red wolves, really – there are only 249 red wolves remaining in the world, with around 170 in the wild at the Alligator River Refuge. From what I understand from my visit to the Refuge, they are heavily monitored. They are, after all, trying to save this beautiful species from extinction. It is highly improbable that the creature perpetrating these attacks is a red wolf, though they are definitely capable of killing a pit bull (yes, they are smaller wolves, but an adult still typically weigh between 50-80 pounds)- even in a one on one fight. Their jaw strength alone is considerably more powerful than a dogs. Still, they are very shy, wary creatures, red wolves.

    Coyotes can be some of the most vicious canids I’ve ever encountered. They are extremely opportunistic and will sometimes kill without feeding, leaving a mauled corpse behind. I also think the idea of a dog/coyote hybrid is possible, or even a pack of feral dogs. Still, my money would be on a small band of coyotes.

  35. Loren Coleman responds:

    Click on “Beast of Bolivia Track” to view the alleged imprint of this cryptid.

  36. mystery_man responds:

    Kittenz- I’m sure wolves do kill dogs and absolutely anyone on the fringes of society, out in wolf country would likely have that problem. I was not really talking about a lone dog wandering out in wolf country, but rather the likelihood of this happening if a wolf ventured near human habitation to encounter a large barking dog. I have heard many stories of dogs successfully deterring predators such as this in such a situation. I am not disputing that dogs are killed by wolves and I’m not trying to argue with you. I just think it is more of an opportunistic thing and like you said, I do not believe they would normally venture into human settlements to go actively hunting for dogs.

  37. mystery_man responds:

    Kittenz- Another thing is that I am quite aware of pack behavior and canine social dynamics, I do know a thing or two about these things. 🙂 I agree that the so called “red zone” is a little dramatic, but I suppose anyone witnessing it first hand may be inclined to be shocked by what they see if they didn’t know any better and so we get monikers like that. In the end, though, it is quite normal behavior for these animals.

    Something you mention that I really think hits the nail on the head is the lack of fear that feral dogs will have towards humans. As I said earlier, many natural predators can be wary and cautious, but this is not so with feral dogs. They are bold, cunning, and just do not have that natural shyness, which makes them dangerous. This lack of fear, coupled with a good size pack, can make even a group of relatively small feral dogs a force to be reckoned with. They seem to be willing to attack larger animals with little or no regard for their own safety and the fact that several could be shot, yet still attack, is not really that surprising to me.

    The coyotes I think are also exactly as you describe. They are elusive, yes, but in recent days it seems they have been getting quite the reputation for being aggressive and bold. They are another animal that displays less wariness than some other predators, and are more willing to make forays near human settlements. They also do not seem to be deterred by barking dogs very much and from what i’ve heard have no qualms at all about attacking even larger dogs.

  38. DARHOP responds:

    Very interesting story. I’m going to have to contact some friends that live in NC and see if they have heard about any of this.

    As far as the Wolf vs Pit debate. The wolf wins 9 out of 10 times. Trained killing pit or not. The wolf wins. Just my opinion. I use to have a St. Bernard crossed with a Red Doberman. His name was Grubb. He was huge. And he had no problem with any pit that came in his yard, and there were a few. Only dog he ever had a problem with was a neighbor’s hybrid wolf. But Grubb still came out on top. Boy did that dog eat a lot. It’s how he got his name.

  39. mystery_man responds:

    DARHOP- You are right, I’d actually say the wolf wins 10 times out of 10, unless the pit is a trained fighter. If the wolves are in a pack, the dog has no chance at all, these are after all predators that can take down moose far larger than themselves. Wolves have a much more powerful bite than any domestic dog and as was said before, they are keen predators that have to eat to survive whereas domestic dogs have been bred over many generations to be more docile as pets.

  40. DARHOP responds:

    mystery_man, I don’t know if I agree that a wolf has a more powerful bite that “all” domestic dogs. I just read that a Rott has a bite of 2400 lbs. per square inch.

  41. DARHOP responds:

    I must admit though, I do not know how true this is. Let me throw that in.

  42. mystery_man responds:

    DARHOP- I don’t know where you read that, but a rottweiler does not have a bite power of 2,400 psi. If you consider that a lion has a bite power of around 700 psi and a hyena around 1,000psi, I find that figure unlikely. Anyway, a wolf’s bite IS stronger than even a rottweiler’s.

  43. mystery_man responds:

    DARHOP- I did some digging on animal bite strengths and found some interesting statistics. One thing that has to be remembered is that it seems there have not been many thorough scientific studies into animal bite strength and it seems like a notoriously difficult figure to accurately and consistently pin down. A lot of the information I found, seemingly from reputable sources, listed different figures. I only looked at solid sources and some rough figures I found were-

    Human- Around 120 psi, although one source said up to 170 psi.
    Alligator- 2,000 psi and over. (all the way up to 2,500 psi.)
    bear- Around 750 psi
    Lions- Listed as anywhere from 700 to 900 psi.
    Hyenas- 1,000 psi.
    Wolf- 500 to 700 psi. (claims of 1,500 psi seem exaggerated.)
    Average labrador- Around 200 psi.

    You can see that this is not an exact science here.

    One thing that seems very apparent, however is that the extreme biting strengths attributed to pit bulls and rottweilers that you might have heard, are a myth. It seems the only substantial scientific studies done have come up with a maximum of 330 psi of bite force for a domesticated dog, and that figure was a rottweiler’s bite. A German Shephard’s was around 220 psi.

    Bite force seems to be a tricky thing to measure, but one thing that is very apparent from what research I was able to do is that 2,400 psi for a dog bite is an extremely overblown figure. Anyway, hope this helps!

  44. DARHOP responds:

    Helps a lot, mystery_man. I thought that 2400 lbs seemed a bit much.
    Good thing I didn’t actually “bite” on that figure. Just threw it out their after I read it. I knew you would come back with some better information than what I saw. Thanks!

  45. mystery_man responds:

    DARHOP- No problem! I’m glad you brought it up because I actually learned quite a bit by looking up the information. Glad I could pass some of it along.

    Most of those figures seem to be average statistics and can vary depending on the individual animal. I found some additional statistics that measured some big and exceptionally strong dogs, such as mastiffs, as having an even higher bite force compared to other dogs. Some of the big boys, according to these sources, can achieve a bite force of up to a maximum of 450 psi although the average is lower. Impressive, but still not comparable to a wolf.

    Like I said, it seems like bite strength is difficult to accurately calculate and get a good sample for. Not only do you have to get the animal to bite where you want for measurement, but it is difficult to tell if you are getting the animal’s maximum strength out of the bite. There are a lot of factors involved, but those figures I stated above seem reasonably accurate and are from good sources rather than unsubstantiated claims or heresay, a lot of which abounds on the net.

    A big dog might be able to squeeze out more biting force in extraordinary circumstances, but nevertheless I think it is safe to say that the claims of 2,400 psi and even 3,000 psi are no more than myth and misinformation.

    Incidentally, it seems that wolverines have one of the higher pound for pound bite strengths relative to size. It also might be interesting to know that marsupials have a stronger bite force in relation to body size than other mammals.

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