Mystery roadkill in Alexandria baffles many
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- An alien. An albino pig with long claws. A government experiment gone wrong. A werewolf.
Those are just some of the guesses about what a weird looking dead animal found near Alexandria last week could be.
The mystery began when Lacey Ilse and her husband were driving to Walmart about 1 p.m. last Monday, and they saw "something" lying in the middle of Douglas County Road 86 near Union Lake.
"I thought, 'What is that? It isn't a cat or a dog,'" Ilse said.
Intrigued, she pulled the car over to check it out.
"As soon as I saw it, I said, 'Oh my God' and yelled to my husband to come over," she said. "I thought what is this -- a science experiment from the government?"
The deformed-looking creature was mostly white with odd tufts of hair on its head and the middle of its back. It resembled a dog but had huge claws and an elongated snout-like mouth.
The animal appeared to have been freshly hit. There were no bugs or flies around it, Ilse said, and she could see fluids still coming out of it.
She checked with a friend who drives the same stretch of road and she didn't recall seeing it earlier that morning.
Ilse took some photos of the creature and posted them on her Facebook page. They spread like wildfire, with her friends sending them on to other friends and media outlets throughout the country picking up the story.
Ilse has been bombarded with requests for photos and interviews. She's heard that Jesse Ventura with truTV's Conspiracy Theory is flying in to investigate.
"It's just been insane," Ilse said of the media firestorm.
The Echo Press sent the photos to Kevin Kotts, a wildlife manager with the Department of Natural Resources in Glenwood, Minn.
After showing the images to other DNR colleagues, he said his "best guess" is that the animal is a badger that somehow lost its hair.
"Badgers are found in Minnesota but are not real common in farmland areas," Kotts noted. "They are predators, in the weasel family, and mainly eat ground squirrels."
Kotts said the black hair and the slight upward hook on the nose are consistent with the animal being a badger.
"Also, the patch of brown, slightly grizzled hair on the back also seems to be what a badger would have."
Kotts added the DNR can't be 100 percent sure of what this animal is because he hadn't seen it in person and didn't know how big it is.
"There's a chance that it could have been a pet of some sort, and not an animal native to Minnesota," he said.
The animal the Ilses found also has a long tail, which badgers don't have.
A late-breaking update: The Ilses, who put the animal carcass in a garbage bag, have since given it to DNR officials for further analysis. In the meantime, the Ilses are still wondering what exactly it was they came across.
"We don't have a for-sure 100 percent answer," Ilse said. "But there's been lots of feedback."