Glyndon: Strange mammal on tape
Susan C. Ingram

07/06/04 - Community Times

Wildlife expert helps solve the case

"I think it's a hyena," said 12-year-old Glyndon resident Mitchell Jones about a weird-looking animal seen lurking around Glyndon the past few weeks. "It's really freaky."

Sighted by a few residents in the leafy, well-tended backyards along Butler Road, the animal is said to be about the size of a small dog, with no fur, except for a scraggly bit on its head and running down its spine.

Central Avenue resident Jay Wroe spotted the animal in the backyard of his parents' home in the 4800 block of Butler Avenue.

Wroe works for the family electronics business, which is headquartered in a large garage on the property. He said he saw the animal in a field one afternoon and wondered, "What in the world is that?"

Being an electronics technician, he set up a motion sensor to ring a bell in the garage. And he kept his video camera handy.

Wroe said the bell rang last Monday and he ran outside, camera at the ready. He captured about five minutes of video footage of the animal roaming around and rooting in the grass.

"When I first saw it, I went and got some more witnesses. I tried to track it a little bit, but it goes back through the big field over there," he said pointing to an adjacent property.

Wroe said his neighborhood has all the usual kinds of wildlife, such as deer and groundhogs, "but nothing this wild. Nothing this bizarre."

"It's either a hyena, or a sick-looking fox," he added.

Neighbor Marie Cole has lived in her secluded Glyndon home for 55 years.

She said the animal sat in the middle of her yard the other day as she mowed the lawn around it.

"He just sat there and looked at me," she said. "It's a fox with no hair, except on its head. I figure he's got rabies or something."

Cole said she's seen red foxes on her property, usually in the fall.

"They got a pretty red coat and they don't stop and stare at ya'. They're on the move," she said.

Wroe said a wildlife expert at the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area in Owings Mills looked at his videotape and declared it a fox with mange.

"He said to just leave it alone. It shouldn't be any kind of a threat," he said.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Web site, foxes account for only 5 percent of confirmed rabies cases. Raccoons account for 85 percent.

Mange is caused by mites that burrow under the animal's top layer of skin and lay eggs. A substance in the mites' bodies causes an allergic reaction. The animal scratches and bites itself causing wounds that get infected and the animal's hair falls out. The condition is often fatal.

"We've gotten calls from people about foxes in that condition quite often," said Ken D'Loughy, regional manager for the DNR's Wildlife & Heritage Service. "It depends on the condition of the animal if they can make it."

D'Loughy advised people who spot foxes in their backyards to make sure garbage cans are secure and not to feed pets outside.

"Once you remove the food source they'll go somewhere else," he said.

He said when people call the DNR with concerns, "we try to educate them and allay their fears. Foxes aren't typically aggressive."

Mitchell Jones and friends have dubbed the bedraggled fox "The Quanak."

He said he and friend Kyle Wroe, also 12, will be keeping an eye out for it throughout the summer.

"Unless it dies," he said.

Mystery Creature Lurks In Baltimore County

07/19/04 - WBAL-11

A mystery animal is on the loose in Baltimore County and not even the experts can pin down what it is.

A Glyndon man found a way to secretly record the beast while it grazed in his yard. For a while it was just lurking in the woods watching the Wroe family until the Wroes started watching it.

Jay Wroe: "My truck was parked here, started getting in my truck. I kind of saw it there where the sunlight is and said what in the world is that?"

Jacob Wroe: "It looked so weird to me. I didn't know what it was."

Wanting to get a better look at the beast stalking his family, Jay Wroe put technology to work for him.

Jay Wroe: "The next day, I hooked up just portable motion detectors, and put them down back in the woods there."

The trap worked.

Jay Wroe: "Very bizarre. I went and got my father and cousin and they came and looked at it and their reactions were pretty much the same -- what in the world are we looking at?"

More than a month after the first sighting, the creature has become a neighborhood regular and showing up often.

Kim Carlsen: "It comes to our house. It's been up in the woods for a while and it comes up through the bottom of our yard and eats our cat food."

Despite the fact it's lurking in these woods and no one knows when or where it will come out, no one here seems afraid of it.

Jacob Wroe: "I don't know, it doesn't look like it's going to harm anybody."

Even the other neighborhood animals like Bullwinkle the dog next door seem okay with the beast.

Kim Carlsen: "It's not afraid of the cats and the cats seem to get along with it fine."

The beast is not shy, and visits most often under bright sun. While no one here knows what it is, they do have a name for it -- the hyote, a combination of a hyena and a coyote.

Mystery Animal Possibly Spotted In Harford Co.

07/21/04 - WBAL-11

There may be more than one mystery animal running around Maryland -- there are pictures from a sighting in Harford County.

At the Mathis family's rural home in Joppa, they're used to animals, but not this kind.

"I looked out the window and I saw something drinking out of the water trough," said Lisa Mathis. "It looked like something out of Lord of The Rings."

"I couldn't figure out what it was," Mathis said. "I though it was a dog and then I looked closer and then I got the camera and pulled it in closer just so I could show the rest of the family."

Mathis's sighting occurred about a year ago. They didn't think much of it until last week when home video of a very similar looking beast appeared on 11 News.

"I saw it and immediately though of this picture that my wife had taken," said Jon Mathis. "(It) looked exactly like the same animal."

On their Harford County land the Mathises have seen all kinds of foxes and other animals running around, but never one like this.

"I'm from New Jersey so I immediately thought it was the Jersey Devil," said Jon Mathis. "In New Jersey folklore, it's a wild beast -- sort of like the abominable snowman."

"My first impression was this was a red fox with sarcoptic mange," said Paul Peditto from the Department of Natural Resources.

With theories running wild, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources says it's very likely a fox, but even they can't be certain.

"We can't discount the possibility that someone had some type of exotic mammal as a pet and released it for whatever reason," said Peditto.

But even with maybe more than one so-called hyote running loose, DNR is going to leave the beast or beasts alone for now.

"We would respond if we knew we had a public safety situation developing," said Peditto. "If we had an animal that was acting in a way that would put people in danger, we would respond immediately."

The only way to find out what the animal is would be to trap it, but DNR says it would only do that if the animal were seen as a threat.

Maryland Mystery Animal 'Seen' All Over The World

07/29/04 - WBAL-11

Since the mystery animal appeared on our Web site two weeks ago, millions of people from around the world have looked at the pictures and sent in guesses as to what it may be.

However, new pictures of a strange animal in Texas have some wondering if it is the same creature seen in central Maryland.

Images: New Pictures Of Mystery Animals (updated images)

A farmer in Elmendorf, Tex., said a strange, blue creature massacred his chickens and grabbed 35 of them in just one day. When the farmer finally shot the 20-pound animal and killed it, he was blown away at what he saw.

"The first thing that came to mind is surely everybody's going to think this is a Chupacabra," Devin Macanally said. "But it is so odd because it has no hair."

Images: Is Texas Animal Related To Maryland Mystery Creature?

The Chupacabra is part of Mexican folklore. It supposedly kills other animals by sucking the blood out of them.

Other people have written in with their guesses about what the Maryland mystery animal could be. A Baltimore veterinarian said he thought it was a dog with mange and an official from the Department of Natural Resources believed it was a fox.

However, e-mails from Australia, South Africa and Alaska have labeled the animal as a razorback hog, a hyena, an aardwolf, a coyote, a capybara, a Mexican hairless dog, a warthog, a wolf, or an African wild dog. Some people say the animal is a previously thought extinct Tasmanian Wolf

The creature -- or one similar to it -- has also allegedly been spotted in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Texas and even England.

Mystery creature nets Glyndon man national attention

07/28/04 - Community News

Susan C. Ingram

"In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes" - Andy Warhol

Glyndon resident Jay Wroe has gotten his 15 minutes of fame. And then some. In the three weeks since the Community Times was first to report that Wroe had videotaped a strange-looking creature wandering around his neighborhood, the story has gone national.

First to contact Wroe was the Sun supermarket tabloid, based in Boca Raton, Fla. Then Baltimore's WBAL-TV 11 and Fox 45 News came out for a chat with Wroe and a chance at nabbing footage of the elusive creature that neighbors dubbed the "quanak," and the "hyote."

WBAL posted the story on its Web site, as did the Community Times. From there the story spread across the Internet.

A Google search of the words Glyndon, strange and mammal brought up about 500 hits, including KMGH-TV in Denver, KPRC-TV in Houston, and WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Ala.

But beyond the realm of news as information, what seems to have ignited the public's imagination is the so-far mysterious and unexplained nature of the story, and Wroe's accompanying video showing a creature that is not immediately identifiable.

All manner of Web sites devoted to strange, weird, unexplained and wacky phenomena have picked up the story, including unexplained-mysteries.com, americanmonsters.com and paranormal.about.com.

Conspiracy theory Web sites, such as abovetopsecret.com and darkgovernment.com are running links to the stories.

Cryptozoology.com, which has headlines including "Giant rabbit is as big as 3-year-old" and "Fish fall from sky during Ocean Springs thunderstorm," also has "Mystery creature lurks in Baltimore County."

Like many Web sites, cryptozoology.com offers a discussion forum for visitors to add their own theories to the mix.

By Monday there were more than 1,900 hits on cryptozoology.com's Glyndon story link and more than 100 entries in the discussion forum.

Speculation on the critter abounds, with people suggesting it is a coyote; a pet hyena; an aardwolf; a fossa, which is a catlike animal from Madagascar; or a Tasmanian tiger, which is believed to have been hunted into extinction by the mid-1930s.

At fark.com viewers logged close to 300 comments on the discussion board between July 19-22.

The Glyndon story also caught the eye of Ellie Baer, a producer for the Sci Fi Network. Baer is working on a new series called "Proof Positive," which hopes to prove the existence of paranormal phenomena.

She found the story while searching online for ideas for the show. She said it attracted her because of its mysterious quality and its human side.

"Perhaps this is a creature we cannot identify, which might make for an interesting segment on the possibilities," she wrote in an e-mail interview. "I like the human angle - Jay hoping to entertain the kids in the hood with this creature, a friendly beast, not your typical creature sighting. Maybe even the opportunity to heal this poor creature if indeed he has mange."

All this attention prompted Baltimore County Animal Control Supervisor Charlotte Crenson-Murrow to contact Wroe about setting a humane trap to capture the animal.

"We were following a stray dog and he had dropped out of site and we thought it was possible it was the stray," she said.

Animal control set a trap last week in the backyard of Wroe's parents' house on Butler Road, where the animal has been most often sighted.

"We want to see if we can get it some veterinary help or wildlife rehabilitation if necessary," Crenson-Murrow said.

She said her best guess is that the animal is a fox. But she is not ruling out the possibility that it is a sick dog. Besides mange, it's possible the animal has an allergy to fleas or grass. "It's not unusual for a dog to lose a lot of hair due to an allergy," she said.

If the animal is trapped, she said she would try to get it help.

In 2003, Animal Control dealt with more than 10,000 animal cases, including owners turning in unwanted pets and calls about stray and dead animals.

For his part, Jay Wroe said he is a bit overwhelmed by all the attention, but is enjoying it nevertheless.

He said last week he and his wife, Amonda, fielded calls from CNN and local radio station 105.7 FM, where the disc jockey wanted to know if the strange animal sighting was a hoax.

"I had no idea it was going to be like this," he said. "The post office has a poster up to name the `Glyndon Mystery Monster.' "

Wroe has tried to come up with clever names, such as Snoop Foxy Dogg and Harold G. Hyote (the "G" being short for Glyndon).

He wants to have some input on what happens to the animal if it is caught, and is concerned that animal control will whisk it away and he'll never see it again.

"If it's a fox, I want to make sure it gets back to health and then let go," he said.

"If it's a dog, I want to pay to get the thing treated and keep the dog," he added. "This thing made me famous. I gotta keep it. It put me on the map."

Trap Set, New Pictures Taken Of Md. Mystery Animal

07/30/04 - WBAL-TV

People have been agonizing over the grainy pictures and home video of the Maryland mystery animal -- guessing and trying to figure out what it might be.

There are new close-up pictures of the creature spotted again in Baltimore County. The images show something that resembles the animal first seen near Glyndon.

Baltimore County Animal Control is teaming up with a resident to catch the mystery animal. They placed a humane trap in the back yard of Jay Wroe, the man who photographed the creature more than two weeks ago on his property.

"The animal, beast, creature -- whatever it is -- comes in the trap, steps on the plate and the door obviously comes down behind it and traps it," Wroe said.

The trap is baited with a steak and some cat food in a can in hopes of catching the mystery animal. Wroe said he thinks the creature may have a family.

"Last Sunday, I came out back in the back yard and I came upon this thing -- it didn't see me," he said. "I saw it. I stopped. I immediately froze and this thing was hideous looking. This is not the same one that I saw and filmed on camera. This thing was brown and had gray spots and it was the size of a cat."

Bob Kaestner also saw the mystery animal and was able to get some pictures and shaky video.

"I was driving to the golf course with my son, Ben, and Ben said, 'There's the Glyndon monster'," Kaestner said.

"I've got three great pictures and I thought, hey, I've got movie capability and we'll take a quick movie," he said. "Well, the animal kept running away from us as we're taking the video, so the video didn't turn out but the pictures turned out pretty darn well."

Wroe attempted to draw the animal closer to the trap by using an old hunter's technique -- rubbing a sponge against a glass.

"It is supposed to sound like a rabbit when it first gets bit by a fox or something," said Wroe.

With one large and possibly one small creature in the area, Wroe walked through the woods behind his home. While no animals were spotted, he did find the cat food can that was originally in the trap.

"It must have drug it out of the trap and brought it down here," Wroe said.

Kaestner said the animal he saw does not appear to be lethargic or weak. He said it is strong and energetic.

Baby Mystery Animal Caught, Identified

08/01/04 - WBAL

The mystery may be over as one of the creatures roaming through central Maryland was finally captured on Saturday.

According to the veterinarians at Falls Road Animal Hospital, the animal was a male red fox. However, Dr. Michael Herko -- a vet at the animal hospital -- and the man who caught the fox say it is not the mysterious creature videotaped in July, but a relative.

Jay Wroe set a trap in his back yard after videotaping an animal that was roaming around. It was an animal he could not immediately identify.

The humane trap paid off on Saturday when Wroe went out to check the cage and saw from a distance that he had caught something.

"This one is definitely the baby to the mother because the one I filmed was obviously bigger than this thing," Wroe said.

Animal control officers took the creature to the Falls Road Animal Hospital. They determined it was a fox with sarcoptic mange.

"It is a skin parasite that looks -- under the microscope -- like spiders," said Dr. Herko. "One of the signs of the disease is hair loss and you've seen he's lost a good portion of its hair -- a good 70 percent."

Wroe is hoping that since he's caught the baby that the mother is not far behind.

Animal control has custody of the fox and plans to rehabilitate the animal to release back into the wild.

Mysterious Animal Captured In Maryland

08/02/04 - First Coast News

GLYNDON, MD -- All it took was a cage and a sirloin steak. That's how neighbors in Glyndon, Maryland, captured a strange looking animal.

Neighbors were calling it a monster, but it turns out it was just a fox, with some serious health problems.

The Red Fox has a severe case of scabies, which caused all its fur to fall out.

That, along with the small face and long tail, had neighbors struggling to identify the animal.

Animal experts are now working to rehabilitate the red fox.

Wildlife experts say where there's one sick fox there may be more, so neighbors have been warned to be on the look out.

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