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Mysterious creatures roaming Geauga County [Ohio]
The Plain Dealer ^ | 18 April 2007 | John Horton

Posted on 04/23/2007 12:09:13 PM PDT by BGHater

Chester Township -- They might be a kind of curly horned sheep. Of course, they could be a funky breed of mountain goat, too. Or . . . well, this sounds sort of silly, but the idea has been tossed out there . . . maybe they're mutant deer.

But whatever they are, they're roaming the woods in this Geauga County community.

At least three of the mystery animals popped up a few months ago, bringing a smattering of quizzical calls to Chester Township police and leaving wildlife experts scratching their heads. One resident managed to snap a few photos of the creatures, but nobody has found an answer in the image.

"We're not exactly sure what they are," said Allen Lea of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, which has reviewed the photos. "But they're definitely not a native species. They're not where they belong."

Of that, everyone seems in agreement.

Police fielded two calls on the animals within the past week, both from Mulberry Road. One of the callers described the creatures as bighorn sheep and declared "this is not right for Chesterland."

Township resident Sal LaPuma saw one of the wayward critters Sunday and Tuesday while driving down Mulberry. The avid outdoorsman and part-time hunting and fishing said he got within 30 feet of the animal before it bolted; he ID'd it as some sort of European wild goat.

"The moment I saw it, I knew it was out of place," said LaPuma, 40.

Police Sgt. Debbie Davis said the animals -- which she described as "half deer, half ram," like the result of an odd mating arrangement -- left her with the same feeling. She said she has searched the Internet but has yet to find what she saw while on patrol.

The photos taken by township resident Sue Mills left experts at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo somewhat stumped.

"They're definitely not your garden variety white-tailed deer," said Sue Allen, a zoo spokeswoman.

So what could the creatures be? The zoo folks tossed out of a few ideas after reviewing the images. They speculated that the animals could be a tahr (a wild goat indigenous to Asia) or a mouflon (a wild sheep found in Europe and Asia).

Whatever they are, the animals probably ended up on the loose in Geauga by either escaping from captivity or being dumped by their owner, officials said.

Chester Police Chief Mark Purchase said nobody has filed a missing-animal report to explain the mystery.

This is the second time in little more than a year that wandering exotic animals have turned heads in the township, which Purchase dubbed Geauga's "wildlife preserve." In late 2005, a family of bison spent weeks on the lam in Chester after escaping a local farm; the animals ended up being killed.

Purchase said there are no plans to corral the newest woodland residents, who seem to be fitting in with local wildlife. One resident said she saw the animals running with a herd of deer.

Still, a proper introduction seems in order.

"We're not looking to run them out," Purchase said. "But we would like to know what they are."


TOPICS: Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: county; deer; ohio; sheep
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
1 posted on 04/23/2007 12:09:15 PM PDT by BGHater
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To: BGHater

If they are wearing a red cap with a gray zero on it, they are Buckeyes!


2 posted on 04/23/2007 12:11:04 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (If you build it, they won't come...)
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To: BGHater

Big horn sheep?


3 posted on 04/23/2007 12:11:20 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: pcottraux

Crypto ping?


4 posted on 04/23/2007 12:11:59 PM PDT by Brujo (Quod volunt, credunt.)
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To: BGHater

Think you have problems?

We learned yesterday a local here released 40 wolf hybrids, not five miles from my house in Brown County Ohio...


5 posted on 04/23/2007 12:11:59 PM PDT by Badeye (it's Badeye Derangement Syndrome! LOL PRICELESS. BE will get a kick out of this!)
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To: mewzilla
Big horn sheep?

Sheepsquatch.
6 posted on 04/23/2007 12:13:16 PM PDT by mutley
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To: BGHater
What have you all been doin to them deers in Ohio?
7 posted on 04/23/2007 12:13:17 PM PDT by hophead ("Enjoy Every Sandwich")
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To: Mikey_1962

Whatever they are, I think they are laborin’ under the misapprehention that they’re nestin’.............


8 posted on 04/23/2007 12:13:20 PM PDT by ALASKA (IT'S NOT ROCKET SURGERY......................Don't just do something, STAND THERE!!!)
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To: mutley

Goatzilla?


9 posted on 04/23/2007 12:15:12 PM PDT by msnimje (True Conservatives will not support a pro-abortion candidate.)
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To: msnimje
Pic from the article. (pretty strange looking.)

10 posted on 04/23/2007 12:16:03 PM PDT by beeber (stuned)
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To: BGHater

Ohio, where Kucinich is a man and sheep are weird......


11 posted on 04/23/2007 12:16:26 PM PDT by Red Badger (If it's consensus, it's not science. If it's science, there's no need for consensus......)
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To: ALASKA
Harold!

Monty Python - Flying Sheep

12 posted on 04/23/2007 12:16:41 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: mutley

Man-Bear-Sheep.......


13 posted on 04/23/2007 12:16:56 PM PDT by Red Badger (If it's consensus, it's not science. If it's science, there's no need for consensus......)
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To: mutley

LOL. Sheepacabra.


14 posted on 04/23/2007 12:17:20 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: BGHater

I think those are Horned Dilemmas.


15 posted on 04/23/2007 12:17:31 PM PDT by Dumpster Baby ("Hope somebody finds me before the rats do .....")
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To: msnimje
Sheepalope...
16 posted on 04/23/2007 12:19:37 PM PDT by johnny7 ("Issue in Doubt." -Col. David Monroe Shoup, USMC 1943)
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To: BGHater

I was at a nature-park over the weekend (forgot it was Earth Day), and saw mallard geese, male and female. The female’s color pattern had a lot of white mixed in, but the male’s pattern was perfect.


17 posted on 04/23/2007 12:19:53 PM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: BGHater

Did it have big, thunderous, cellulite filled thighs? Was it hairy unshaven armpits and legs? Did it mimick the local accent? - Mystery solved: It was the Hildebeast out foraging for campaign contributions.


18 posted on 04/23/2007 12:21:11 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (It's as simple as ABC - Anyone But Clinton! ( or Osama Obama))
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To: mewzilla

“Big horn sheep?”

that was my thought as soon as the picture popped up.


19 posted on 04/23/2007 12:22:30 PM PDT by swmobuffalo (The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.)
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To: swmobuffalo

They look like the big horn I’ve seen out West. Escapees from a canned hunt?


20 posted on 04/23/2007 12:25:00 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: BGHater

Chester Township where the men are men and the sheep are nervous


21 posted on 04/23/2007 12:29:21 PM PDT by GoforBroke
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To: BGHater

English tourists?


22 posted on 04/23/2007 12:34:13 PM PDT by BigCinBigD (You "abort" bad missile launches and carrier landings. Not babies.)
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To: BGHater; beeber

23 posted on 04/23/2007 12:46:25 PM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: generalissimoduane

Mr. H- ping


24 posted on 04/23/2007 1:03:57 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: swmobuffalo

agreed.. I’ve almost hit some with my pickup back in Colorado.. many years ago..


25 posted on 04/23/2007 1:05:45 PM PDT by tje
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To: BGHater
Illegal Chupacabra


26 posted on 04/23/2007 1:11:59 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: BGHater

Police fielded two calls on the animals within the past week, both from Mulberry Road. One of the callers described the creatures as bighorn sheep and declared “this is not right for Chesterland.”

And besides that, they stay up all night singing ‘100 bottles of beer on the wall’!


27 posted on 04/23/2007 1:31:55 PM PDT by KingRonnie9
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To: Angelas; presidio9; Idisarthur; Hegemony Cricket; A knight without armor; new cruelty; SunkenCiv; ..

28 posted on 04/23/2007 2:10:44 PM PDT by pcottraux (Fred Thompson pronounces it "P. Coe-troe"...in 2008.)
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To: beeber
"Pic from the article. (pretty strange looking.)"

Looks like John Kerry!

29 posted on 04/23/2007 3:51:11 PM PDT by albee (The best thing you can do for the poor is.....not be one of them. - Eric Hoffer)
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To: pcottraux

I here these new critters are high in the middle and round on both ends. Very mysterious.


30 posted on 04/23/2007 8:16:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 18, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Here? *Really* ‘Civ, you should know better.

I *hear* these new critters are high in the middle and round on both ends. Very mysterious.


31 posted on 04/23/2007 8:20:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Monday, April 18, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: mewzilla

they don’t so much fly..... as plummet...


32 posted on 04/24/2007 4:36:29 PM PDT by Awestruck (All the usual suspects)
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