Skip to comments.Mysterious creatures roaming Geauga County [Ohio]
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."
If they are wearing a red cap with a gray zero on it, they are Buckeyes!
Big horn sheep?
Think you have problems?
We learned yesterday a local here released 40 wolf hybrids, not five miles from my house in Brown County Ohio...
Whatever they are, I think they are laborin’ under the misapprehention that they’re nestin’.............
Ohio, where Kucinich is a man and sheep are weird......
I think those are Horned Dilemmas.
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.
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.
“Big horn sheep?”
that was my thought as soon as the picture popped up.
They look like the big horn I’ve seen out West. Escapees from a canned hunt?
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