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A beastly riddle.

Residents of a US community believe that an unidentified animal found dead could be the vicious creature that has terrified them for 15 years.

Since 1991, people across Androscoggin County, Maine, have reported hearing the chilling, monstrous cries of the creature blamed for fatally mauling two dogs ( and seeing its eyes glowing in the dark.

One woman considered moving out of her home after hearing its blood-curdling screech one night.

Now some locals believe a dead animal found in the town of Turner could provide the answer to the mystery. The carcass has been photographed and inspected by several residents, but nobody is sure what it is.

Some believe the strange creature could be Maine's own "chupacabra" ( a beast blamed for killing animals in Puerto Rico, Miami, and Mexico whose name means "goat sucker" in Spanish.

Other theories on what it is have ranged from a hyena or dingo to a coydog, the offspring of a coyote and a wild dog.

In the past two years the evasive animal is thought to have attacked and killed a Doberman Pinscher and a Rottweiler.

Michelle O'Donnell said she spotted the beast near her garden about a week before the carcass was found, and described it as a "hybrid mutant of something".

She said: "It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget. We locked eyes for a few seconds and then it took off. I've never seen anything like it."

Her husband Mike added: "We've been hearing stories about this for years ( about this thing that's been attacking, shredding and eating other animals. This is something that's not supposed to be out there."

The dead animal was charcoal grey, weighed 40-50lb had a bushy tail, short snout, short ears and curled fangs hanging over its lips.

Wildlife officials and animal control officers did not examine the remains, which have now been picked clean by vultures.

After seeing photos, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, said it was unlikely the animal was a pet. He said he was bothered by the animal's ears and snout, which reminded him of a previous case where a mysterious beast turned out to be a rare wolf-dog hybrid.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 24, 2006
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