WISE COUNTY -- Animal experts are baffled by a small, hairless creature found dead on the golf course at Runaway Bay in Wise County.
Maintenance worker Tony Potter picked it up Wednesday morning. To him it looked a little like a raccoon with no hair.
"Definitely not a dog," he said.
Potter showed the remains to several people and then took it to a veterinarian's office in Bridgeport. He said no one there could identify it, either.
"My wife wouldn't let me keep it in the freezer," he said, so Potter gave it to the Center for Animal Research and Education, a big cat sanctuary in Bridgeport.
The creature is dark brown, about 18 inches long, with a black nose and a face resembling a rodent -- but with long canine teeth jutting from the upper and lower jaws.
The front claws have narrow digits about a half-inch long, with long, narrow nails.
Whatever this is has powerful rear legs "almost like a kangaroo," according to CARE research assistant Sherre Sacher. She said the front claws look like they're made for digging.
The tail is like that of an opossum, but not quite as long.
"It's really exciting," Sacher said. "I can't wait to find out what it is."
The center hopes to hear from experts who would like to examine the animal. Some who have seen it wonder if it's the legendary chupacabra, an animal that supposedly sucks the blood of goats.
If nothing else, one thing appears certain: This is the ugliest bogey ever seen on the Runaway Bay golf course.
You can contact the Center for Animal Research and Education at firstname.lastname@example.org