Two strange encounters with mysterious mountain lions made the news this weekend. One in Texas may be a rare albino and the other in Idaho appears to be … well, it has to be seen to be believed.
For months there have been rumors of a “ghostly” white big cat near Hughes Springs, a small town (pop. 1,760) in far northeast Texas on the Cass-Morris county line. Multiple residents claimed to have seen a large white beast roaming the area farmlands before disappearing into the woods. Being white or whitish, “ghostly “ and “ghost” are the terms used to describe the creature, which witnesses claim is bigger than a dog and definitely not a house cat. Oh, and livestock have been disappearing too.
For proof, they turn to a video taken by farmer Mitchell Cox which shows the white creature on his land. Taken from what he estimates to be 50 yards away, the video shows the beast jumping over what Cox says is a 6-foot stream.
After seeing the video, investigator Hershel Stroman of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office said he thought it was an albino mountain lion. That would be extremely rare and, since the video isn’t clear enough to show tell-tale pink eyes, it’s more likely a white mutation – still pretty rare. Without any other evidence, biologists at Texas A & M Overton are just calling it a big white cat.
Meanwhile, biologists in southeast Idaho had all the evidence they needed but no explanation for a mountain lion with teeth growing out of its head. Tyler Olson of Weston, Idaho, says he saw his dog being attacked by a strange-looking mountain lion on December 30th. After chasing it away (the dog is recovering), he warned his neighbors … who immediately formed a posse (supposedly having legal hunting licenses) and went after the cougar.
What they killed and brought back was a strange-looking creature indeed – a mountain lion with teeth growing like a horn out of the left side of its head. The group posted a photo on the Internet but has decided for some reason to remain anonymous. One hunter has possession of the carcass and plans to have it stuffed.
Wildlife officials looking at the photo say it could be a teratoma, which is a rare tumor that grows hair, teeth, bones and other body parts in the wrong places. Or it could be the remains of an undeveloped conjoined twin. Or it could be the result of a fight wound that healed in a weird way.
Whatever it is, the hunter has decided to keep the body and his identity to himself for some mysterious reason ( no license perhaps?). Meanwhile, there’s probably hunters on the prowl in Hughes Springs looking for a big albino mountain lion.
Must animal oddities always come to this type of end?