So What the Dickens Is It?

Officials at the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park said they were left scratching their heads when they spotted this mysterious creature on a trail camera. 

This photo was taken by a tourist at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in Texas–taken at night, so the details aren’t altogether clear. People have been trying all week to identify the animal.

Don’t laugh: but the first guess that came to my mind was “hippopotamus?” We don’t have anything else in the picture to give it scale. The tree is no help: if the animal is small, so is the tree; and if the animal is large, so is the tree.

Well, nobody wants to join me in guessing hippo. We are told the latest consensus is “badger.” They’re not commonly found in this area, but then neither are hippos. We also have some sentimental votes for “wolverine.”

This story strikes a chord with me because, in my own series of Bell Mountain novels, one of the signs given by God is the return of long-extinct animals. What if this here critter is a None of the Above?

I admit I’ve never seen a badger in real life. So if that’s what it is, well, that’s what it is.



10 comments on “So What the Dickens Is It?

  1. It looks like a badger to me, but it would have to be a “flipping ginormous” (in the kid’s vernacular) judging by the scale of the trees.

    However, I’m going to call “foul” on it being taken by a “tourist”. It really looks a lot more like a trail-cam snap than something caught at just the right time by a tourist’s infrared camera.

  2. I’ve seen this elsewhere, and it still looks like a double exposure to me — two animals overlaid on each other, or one animal that moved and both photos wound up on the same plate (or digital whoozis or whatever). Otherwise, I’ll go with hippo.

  3. That’s one-a them Rio Grande Valley Hippos. They are a real nuisance.

    “ in my own series of Bell Mountain novels, one of the signs given by God is the return of long-extinct animals”

    You may be onto something.

    1. *Sigh* I was going to start editing “The Ocean of Time” today–but the MS that was sent to me has no page numbers.

  4. It might be a hippo. They do escape from zoos, or it could be someones pet that wandered away from it’s pond. Have you seen any posters with that picture and caption: “Have you seen Sally” call this number…..

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