Mississippi Hyena?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 8th, 2008

Tim McCary of Mississippi has exclusively shared the following video with Cryptomundo. The creature caught with his game video cam was photographed last fall 2007, in southwest Mississippi. Specifically, it was taken in a place called “Anna’s Bottom,” just north of Natchez, Mississippi.

Mr. McCary has no reason for trickery, and merely sent it in because it vaguely appeared to look like a “hyena” trotting along (although he understands no hyenas should be seen in North America). He does not know what it is. Of course, it could be a coyote or dog, with or without mange, being filmed. It could be some other as yet-unidentified animal.

What do you think? What do you see in the footage?

For comparative purposes, below is footage of a hyena running in Africa and also of a coyote and a bear on trail cams. (People often make the mistake of thinking hyenas have stubbed tails; they do not.)




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.

44 Responses to “Mississippi Hyena?”

  1. Samson77 responds:

    It sure looks like a hyena to me.
    Although the first impression of being hyena-like is probably because of the hunched neck posture it has as it is moving.

  2. eireman responds:

    While I will admit it bears more resemblance to the hyena, I really don’t think it looks that much like either one. But it doesn’t quite look like a domestic dog either. Of course, we don’t get much of a look at it. Odd that the camera only picked it up once it was moving out of frame and not once it entered the path of the IR sensor.

  3. Endroren responds:

    Did he happen to get any prints from it? The most logical explanation is something completely normal that is tough to ID due to the distance/image quality/etc. but it would be cool if it were something new. Shunka Warak’in? 🙂

  4. Galea responds:

    That just cant be a normal coyote or a dog. I really wanna know what this is.

  5. giantchaser responds:

    looks like a stray dog to me

  6. CamperGuy responds:

    I see a dog happily wagging its tail as it is trailing something.

    I can easily see why others will reach different conclusions.

    eireman stated “Odd that the camera only picked it up once it was moving out of frame and not once it entered the path of the IR sensor. ” Can anyone explain?

    Interesting film, would absolutely be surprised if it were any type of trick or hoaxing attempt. It is simply what it is. I thank the contibutor for sharing.

  7. Huntress responds:

    The animal could have been coming toward the camera and then changed directions when the camera turned on. The first view we see the animal is looking into the camera so I would think that it’s aware of being filmed.
    I don’t know if it’s a dog or coyote. One part of me sees a tail wag the other sees the animal limping. Either way the stomach looks distended so it could be a coyote that just ate or one with parasites OR it could be a pregnant feral dog.

  8. Richard888 responds:

    To me it looks like a canid with a bad back. Both pairs of limbs appear to have the same length.

  9. dave2large responds:

    Looks to me like the Shunka-Warak’n that you showed us stuffed from the 1800’s

  10. sschaper responds:

    It reminds me of the shunka warakin more than any of the above animals. Odds favor it being a dog on the loose, but it is odd, isn’t it?

  11. shumway10973 responds:

    I don’t think it is a canine or feline at all. The way it walks reminds me of a doe (or something hooved). It would also explain just how “plump” it is in the torso. What I thought at first was the typical hyena “mane” could be from a horse or donkey (something in that “family”). This thing looked like it was grazing. Not to mention being Mississippi, anything is possible.

  12. kittenz responds:

    I think it looks a lot like a wild hog. There are lots of them in Mississippi.

  13. hudgeliberal responds:

    Hard to tell,but in all probability a feral dog,as stated above..maybe a broken back or hip. Not enough to really make a decision one way or another. Weird looking for sure. I think that if there are cryptids roaming our countryside these trail cams may be the answer that everyone has been looking for. Then again,if a creature is scared away by the scent of man..one would really have to do a lot to cover his scent,not just on the camera but the trip in and out. Oh well,interesting vid nonetheless.

  14. mrbf2007 responds:

    Very interesting footage. Being a native Mississippian myself, I have never seen anything like that in my area up here in Northern Mississippi, but if the state denies officially that there are still panthers in the state, what will they say about hyenas in the Magnolia State? If it IS a hyena, it is most likely an escapee from a zoo or wildlife conservancy. Mississippi is not the native home of hyenas as far as I know. Interesting story, Loren. Keep us posted.

  15. swnoel responds:

    Looks like my chubby yellow lab.

    A dog for sure… it’s also common for an animal to not trip the infared trigger on many cameras going perpendicular to the beam, that is why it’s suggested to place cameras parallel to the game trail.

  16. red_pill_junkie responds:

    stray dog with hip displasia?

  17. Munnin responds:

    I’m with Kittenz. My first thought was a feral pig. This seems to me like the best candidate so far.

  18. planettom responds:

    I agree with kittenz, my first impression was possible hog. It’s really hard to tell though…

  19. Saint Vitus responds:

    Whatever it is, it appears to be limping due to an injury to one of the back legs. It does look alot like a hyena, but that seems pretty unlikely. Is anyone in the Natchez area missing a hyena?

  20. TaishaMcGee responds:

    Looks like a mix-breed to me. The coat is pretty non-distinct for a hyena or African wild dog. A dingo mix or wild dog mix seems more likely. It ain’t no pig, though!

    It seems to me that there has been a recent increase in North American Hyena sightings lately. Many of the “Chupacabra” corpses have been thought to be hyenas. There is a woman in Texas who spent much of her life in Africa who claims to have a Chupacabra skull that looks exceptionally like a African hyena’s skull. I have often heard stories from my Arkansas relatives about the hyenas that live with them in the ozarks (despite it being an unlikely environment), and I know I have heard the hyena-like barking and squeals in the Ozark night that don’t sound anything like the coyotes here in Eastern Washington.

    I don’t see why it’s so incredible that there could be wild hyenas in North America. People used to import all kinds of exotic animals for hunting or for pets. Even now, the exotic animal trade is alive and well. Hyenas are nocturnal and elusive. Not so impossible is it? Someone should go look for them. Let me know when the North American hyena-hunt is, I wanna go!

  21. Rillo777 responds:

    Looks like somebody’s old hound to me.

  22. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    it isnt odd that the cam took so long to click on. no game cam be it picture or video will be of the instant on type. they all have delays. some so long that what ever tripped them walks completely out of the frame before the pic is taken. some are pretty quick but none i know of are instantly turned on when the beam or motion sensor is tripped. it also depends on how some are set.

    because of this it is prudent to position them where the animals tend to walk to or away from the unit. otherwise many animals will not be caught on frame.

  23. Hollyhcks3 responds:

    The more I watch the video, the more things it might be! I read all the other comments and went back and watched again. I still have to say dog.

  24. fallofrain responds:

    Not knowing the kind of trail cam or how it records videos, this is just a guess why the critter doesn’t appear until the center of the frame and going fairly fast. Some trail cams have about a one second delay to give the animal time to get to the center of the frame and in a better position for flash or IR lighting. It appears to have worked. Trailcams are generally designed for slower-moving animals which will stay IN the frame longer. This one looks like it was late for a very important date. For me, there’s not enough information to even make a guess. Maybe if we saw some frame-by-frame shots.

  25. Maine Crypto responds:

    I don’t see the hunched shoulders of a hyena, to me it looks most like a coyote. I would be very interested to see if any prints were taken from the area…? But I am guessing this didn’t happen since it was quite a while ago. Thanks for the video.

  26. Richard888 responds:

    Remember the mystery animal at a farm in Maryland drinking from a bowl? “It” looked like a hyena. That’s why they dubbed it “hayote.” Well, this is probably another hayote. By the way, was it ever proven what the hayote was/is?

  27. Saint Vitus responds:

    The Hyote was trapped alive and ID’d as either a red fox or coyote (I forget which), with (you guessed it), mange.

  28. CryptoGoji responds:

    It looks like a Crocuta Crocuta, or African hyena. The posture is very close to that of a hyena, but I kinda agree with kittenz, maybe a big hog, but still it doesn’t at the same time. I just dont know. The video is good, but the creature is just too far away for sure.

  29. kittenz responds:

    Wild pigs look different than farm-raised pigs: their legs are longer and their bodies are not nearly as rotund. Here is one example at this link; you can google and find many others. http://pelotes.jea.com/AnimalFact/Mammal/Boar.htm

  30. ETxArtist responds:

    What I see is a dog or coyote scurrying around with its nose close to the ground, excited by what it smells. We’ve all seen our pet dogs doing this, like when they get the scent of a cat in the yard, or a treat lying around somewhere.

  31. planettom responds:

    I’ve watched it over and over again…I’m leaning away from my first impression that it could be a hog. I starting to think it is just someone’s old dog.

  32. UgovernU responds:

    I tend to agree with Camperguy. It is simply a dog – they come in paractically all concievable shapes – in a nose-down posture trailing scent. That’s how they do it.

    I am far more interested in when we are going to get some DNA testing on a possibly found cryptid, the Shunka-Warak’n mentioned by dave2large. Can you provide an update Loren?

  33. Blue Mako responds:

    Too murky to tell, really. Could be a hyena, or it could be any number of vaguely similar things…

  34. cryptidsrus responds:

    SURE looks like a hyena to me, too…

    COULD be a stray dog, though, as other have said…

  35. PhotoExpert responds:

    To find out what it is, we must first rule out what it isn’t.

    It is not an otter!

    Looking at the video clips Loren supplied, we can rule out it is not a bear. Field experience tells me it is not a feral hog either. It’s definitely not a hyena although looking at it quickly, I could see where people might think that it is. But a careful inspection and comparison by pausing the trailcam video, tells us that it does not match the hyena. So we can rule that out. Coyote? Hmm, it may be but I doubt it. If you get a good look at the head, or at least the best view of the head you can get, the snout does not match that of a coyote. And although the body looks similar or could possibly be that of a coyote, so could many breeds of dogs. Given the snout, tail and tail wag, and the overall appearance of the beast, I would have to rule out coyote as well. This would leave me with some creature that has the resembles already known creatures, namely domesticated canines, dogs!

    It’s a dog! What kind of mixed breed dog, I do not know or would even venture a guess. But it is definitely not a hyena and most likely is a domesticated canine. In other words, it is a dog. It could be part Lab, part Rott, or a couple of parts of any known dog breed that fits the size.

    Now whether or not it has sarcoptic mange is up to the members here at Cryptomundo. LOL

  36. Double Naught Spy responds:

    That’s Duke’s cousin, Annabelle!

  37. DWA responds:

    Once again we have:

    1. Lots of conclusive conclusions.

    2. On a video the subject of which is, absolutely, indeterminable.

    Don’t believe me? Look how many animals folks have “concluded” it is!

    I know my animals, believe you me. And that could be a hyena, easily. I might in fact pick hyena over dog or coyote. If you told me you had shot the film in Africa, and nothing else about it, I’d say “hyena” as soon as I saw it.

    Don’t know whether lots of folks here think that the identity of every photographic subject can be absolutely determined somehow, or not. But I can say with confidence that the vast majority of such shots that have come up here have gone unidentified, after much speculation like this.

    There is a reason scientists don’t go for photographic holotypes.

    If this is all the info we have about this subject, it is – absolutely – impossible to say what it is.

  38. Kelltic1 responds:

    I think it’s a dog or cyote with Mange. Didactic most likely…

  39. Kelltic1 responds:

    Damn! I meant sarcoptic… sorry.

  40. chopper responds:

    Its a Sasquatch if ever i have seen one. Scientists cannot ignore this high definition photography.

  41. djm749 responds:

    It looks like an old bear dog with hip dysplasha

  42. Alicia Marie responds:

    I am no expert, but it looks like a coonhound to me, or something similar. It looks like it has a long tapered tail, and larger, floppy ears. Check out this video for comparison.

  43. robroy99 responds:

    I enjoy this site but never thought I’d see anything unusual in this populated area of SE PA. Normal fare deer, fox, groundhog etc. Today I spotted what I thought was a mangy dog crossing the street of a housing development. As I got closer it appeared to be a large fox and as I passed it I would have sworn it was a small hyena. Same posture, thick hair on end from neck to mid back and ran the same way with head down. I stopped and asked some strollers and they said there have been alot of sightings of this strange creature. I’ll be sure to have my camera next several trips around this neighborhood. Probably a mutt with a bad haircut but very wierd indeed. I’ll be sure to post if I can get a pic.

  44. CrazyGeek responds:

    About three years ago my brother moved near the Ga/Al line. He heard from 3-4 different people all in different areas who claim to have seen a Hyena type animal (spotted).

    One a guy who works at a local feed store stated matter of factly he had seen one a couple of times over the years.

    For the video above, the way the animal hunches it neck looks to me more like a Hyena type
    creature rather than a hog.

Leave your comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.