Sunday, March 22, 2015

So it wasn't a possum...

Remember the dead possum head Isaac found the other day? Well, it wasn't a possum. It was a deer.

I know because today he found most of the torso. I knew right away it wasn't a possum because it was too big and the wrong color but it took me a minute to figure out what it was because it was, um, not real intact. Then I saw a single leg with a hoof still on it and that's how I figured it out.

Isaac wanted to gnaw on the neck bone. Eww.

It kind of freaked me out because I didn't know what lives around here that is big enough to take down a deer and tear it apart like that. All I could think of was a coyote but I thought they usually ate things like rabbits and birds and maybe an occasional cat. Not deer.

I put Isaac back on his leash. Partly so he didn't try to gnaw on any more deer parts and partly because I was worried about what might have killed the deer. I do not want Isaac having any encounters with any coyotes.

There was a woman at the park office when we went back to the car, so I stopped to tell her about the deer and asked her what she thought would kill a deer. She said all she could think of was maybe coyotes, maybe working together. I asked her if there were a lot of coyotes in and around that park and she said she didn't know if there were a lot but that she knew there were some in the county. 

So I came home and did a little research. There are different types of coyotes but some, known as the Eastern coyote or coywolf, are hybrids, half-coyote, half-wolf. They originated up north but have been moving south and have been found as far south now as Virginia. They are bigger than regular coyotes and sometimes kill deer. 

So that is probably what did it. A coywolf. That's kind of neat but kind of scary.

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