Maine’s Dog Killer cont.

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 18th, 2005

Investigative reporter Mark LaFlamme continues his inquiries into Maine’s mystery beast with a new article published in the November 18, 2005, Lewiston Sun-Journal.

Widespread interest and comments have been generated through LaFlamme’s initial article which was then mentioned in my earlier blog here, and that Cryptomundo comment was noted in David Pescovitz’s Boing Boing column. Today, reporter LaFlamme zeroes in on the probable best candidates for the central Maine dog killer and attacker, issuing from comments we all are now receiving.

After relating that the dog "Buddy" has happily been reunited with its owners, Mark LaFlamme comments on the cryptid angle. Due to some problems in accessing the article online, here’s an extract from the cryptozoological section of LaFlamme’s article:

While nobody knows for sure, most animal experts are leaning toward a big cat – a bobcat, lynx or mountain lion – as the source of the wounds.

"From what I understand, the injuries were to the neck and a paw," said Christopher Gardner, a cryptozoologist in Bangor. "That’s what cats seem to go for when they attack."

Gardner is leaning toward a mountain lion. While state biologists admit there have been numerous reported sightings of the animals, none have been confirmed.

Gardner said: "From the research I’ve done and the people I’ve talked to, I don’t think there’s any doubt the mountain lions are back."

Still others believe it is too soon to rule out a lynx or a bobcat as the beast that attacked the dog. Loren Coleman, considered by some to be the world’s leading cryptozoologist, said he heard from several people who live in the area where the dog was found on Monday. Two of them reported seeing a bobcat or lynx wandering through that area in recent days or weeks.

Joanne D’Unger, who lives in Leeds, stated in an e-mail that she saw such an animal on Quaker Ridge Road in Greene just six weeks ago.

"I saw an animal standing, broadside, in the middle of the road ahead and thought it must be a dog, as it appeared rather small for a deer," D’Unger wrote. "I quickly realized that I was looking at a cat. … The hindquarters were taller than the forequarters as the back legs appeared to be longer."

The cat ran back into the woods, D’Unger added.

Another man wrote to Coleman and stated he was driving on Quaker Ridge Road two months ago when he saw what appeared to be a lynx or a bobcat bounding across the road, not far from the intersection at Route 202.

In the sightings, a distinctive short tail and lightly spotted body is being reported, giving a hint that there mystery cats are lynx versus bobcat, and probably not puma, in this case. But I agree with Chris Gardner, puma do exist in the state and may be in the mix, overall. Whether these recent lynx-like sightings directly have anything to do with the dog-killer of last summer or the recent throat-slashing of the Greene, Maine, dog, of course, remain to be seen.

Stay tuned.

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.

12 Responses to “Maine’s Dog Killer cont.”

  1. Kalashnikovnik responds:

    Aha. from what I understand cougars are capable of making some truly unearthly sounds.
    although it doesn’t explain the “hyena” sightings……
    the smaller cats are a good candidate too, because most dogs deliberately attacked by a cougar would be killed quickly via a bite through the back of the neck. (typical M.O for cats is to bite the back of the neck and force their canine teeth between the neck vertebrae and snap the spinal cord…..clamping down on the nose or throat is often used to suffocate larger prey.)
    a dog battling a bobcat would get torn up pretty badly though, thus resulting in the “mauling” type injuries that were reported. another possibility that could explain the “hyena” sightings is the possibility that feral hogs have moved into the state from NH and VT. i suppose from a distence someone might mistake a shaggy wild pig for a hyena. so it’s possible some of the area dogs are chasing after stuff that they shouldn’t be.

  2. brianinja responds:

    I’m kinda late to the party here, but we had a similar flap of both mystery beast and eastern cougar sightings here in Maryland during the last few years. I’m a newspaper reporter so I was able do some digging, spend some time researching, and get paid in the process!, on these sightings. I’ve recorded some of them on my web site if you’d like to look for similarities among the cases.

    Eastern Cougar

    Mystery Beasts

  3. Brindle responds:

    brianinja, nice article on the mystery beasts and interesting website!

    I want to point out something that probably everyone already knows. Hyenas are currently thought to be related to cats and civets and should be utterly incapable of producing canid-cross off spring. I believe canids and hyenas had a common relative something like 50 million years ago (I’m pulling this from memory – I may be off a few million years). If there is a hyena-canid cross, some one is going to have to seriously start re-working the evolutionary tree.

  4. Brindle responds:

    Just another comment on brianinja’s very interesting article,

    The critter the nogoodnicks rode in the Lord of the rings looked very much like the reconstructions I have seen of the short faced hyena (crocuta brevirostrus). In fact, it was a dead wringer, except possibly for scale.

    Since it supposedly became extinct in the very near geological past, I have read that it might remotely be conceivable that it is responsible for a few mystery creature sightings. But fossil records indicate that this animal was larger than today’s hyenas and was probably a truly scary customer.
    From the recreations I have seen, the short faced hyena looks nothing like the sad little critters in the mystery beast photos.

    Of course, this is only my version of reality.

  5. LaFlamme responds:

    More calls and letters coming in on the creature sightings in Greene. Stand by.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    Ben Willis writing off this blog makes the valid point that a quick sighting of a lynx or bobcat can look an awfully lot like a hyena.

  7. Brindle responds:

    Yes sir, I agree it could be possible. The coat patterns of spotted hyenas, lynxes and bobcats can be similar. But hopefully the observer would note a serious silhouette and size discrepancy, although I don’t think I would want to bet my life on it.
    But if you find hoofprints on a beach, are you going to look first for a horse or a zebra? I am assuming we are not imagining a beach on the African continent.

  8. Kalashnikovnik responds:

    yes that is a very good point. if i were to see a spotted animal in the maine woods i doubt the default response of most people would be “that is a hyena” most people would likely assume they had seen a bobcat.
    although i’ve spent enough time in the woods and watching nature shows where i think i could distinguish a cat of any species from a hyena.
    of course i haven’t actually heard anything about the color of this “hyena” yet either. have any of the witnesses described spots (these would likely be indistinct at a distance anyway) there are four living species of hyena recognized by science and only one of them is spotted.

  9. Brindle responds:

    Sorry, I assumed a spotted hyena because that was the only similarity between a lynx, bobcat and hyena that I could think of – besides the four legs, one head, two eyes kind of stuff.

  10. Brindle responds:

    OK OK – I can’t do the tabby and striped hyena thing.

  11. Kalashnikovnik responds:

    the spotted hyena is the most common species, and the one most people think of when they hear the word “hyena”. my only issue with the hyena/bobcat thing is that if most people saw a spotted hyena at a distance or obscured by trees or whatever, they might think “it’s a bobcat” – because of the spots, but if they saw a bobcat i doubt they’d think “it’s a hyena”. but it’s way to early to rule anything out. i’m just curious to hear some eyewitness descriptions of the coloration of this thing. once some more detail about the appearance surfaces it will be easier to say what this critter definately is or is not. may turn out to be nothing more then coyotes, but in the mean time i’m enjoying watching this mystery unfold in my state 😉

  12. LaFlamme responds:

    More people were making the hyena suggestion during last year’s Doberman mauling in Wales, Maine, not far from Greene. At least a half dozen people, unacquainted with each other, told me what they saw looked like a hyena. In Greene more recently, almost everyone described a big cat, without much variation.

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