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.