An unidentified creature spotted in the Rio Grande Valley had Texas park officials and citizens alike scratching their heads in puzzlement.
Last week, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park asked social media users to help identify an unusual creature they posted on their Facebook page. The photo displayed a mysterious beast whose properties were difficult to determine.
During a moonlit wander through the Rio Grande Valley, an opportunistic park goer captured footage of a round and woolly four-legged creature on their trail cam.
“We’re scratching our heads trying to identify this elusive creature. Is it a new species? An escapee from a nearby zoo? Or just a park ranger in disguise?” the state park wrote. “Regardless, it’s thrilling to see such an incredible animal in its natural habitat.”
On Thursday, the post garnered hundreds of guesses from users all over the world.
“If it’s not a bear, then I would guess a park ranger in disguise!!” one person said while another added, “A good ol’ Texas-size rat.”
Netizens guessed the mysterious creature could be anything from a wolverine to an otter, but many were sure it was a badger with one individual even suggesting it’s a “pregnant badger!”
Following extensive discussion and speculation, the park officials finally revealed their ideas of what it could be.
“Wow, this photo has got a lot of attention! We agree with most of the comments that this is very likely an American Badger (not to be confused with the Honey Badger that lives in Africa and Asia and is rumored to not care very much),” the state park saidd, adding. “While American Badgers are not commonly seen in the valley (partly due to their nocturnal behavior), this is part of their natural range.”
Park officials were unable to identify the exact location of where the photo was taken in the Rio Grande Valley.