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Mysterious Half-Decomposed Gorilla Arm Washes Up in Ireland

It’s always weird when animals (or parts of them) turn up in the wrong places, and it seems to be happening a lot in the United Kingdom lately. Last month, strange reports of unexplained howling noises came out of Scotland, reviving theories that wolves might have somehow returned to the British isles after over a century of extinction. The last few years have also seen a spike in the phenomenon of unidentified large cats throughout the northern U.K. Now, evidence an even stranger beast has turned up in Ireland, and naturalists don’t quite know what to make of it.

Not the kind of thing you want to find on a nice beach stroll.

Not the kind of thing you want to find on a nice beach stroll.

The mystery began when a rotting, half-decomposed arm was found on the shores of County Clare on the western shores of Ireland. The individual who discovered the limb believed it might be human and notified authorities. Law enforcement ascertained that the arm belonged to an animal and passed it on to Frankie Coote, the Clare County Council Dog Warden, who apparently is the only animal expert around.

Cootes and the "gorilla" arm.

Cootes and the “gorilla” arm.

Coote immediately called the arm a “highly unusual discovery in Ireland.” Initial speculation was that the limb belongs to a large primate, possibly even a gorilla. Given that the only land mass west of Ireland is America, the discovery of a limb on Ireland’s western shores is odd. For his part, Dog Warden Coote is at a loss:

We’re used to getting calls where farm animals wash up or a dog, a seal or anything like that, but this is an unusual one. It’d be nice to get to the bottom of it and know exactly what it is and where it may have come from.

Other theories are that the arm may actually belong to a large bear or a seal. For now, the arm is in Coote’s freezer awaiting further analysis.

Do gorillas even swim?

Do gorillas even swim?