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Park officials stumped by 'mystery animal' caught on camera
Featured Image Credit: Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

Park officials stumped by 'mystery animal' caught on camera

Texan authorities had to turn to the public to identify the curious creature seen at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

Wildlife experts were left stumped after spotting a mysterious animal in a Texas state park.

Ironically, the authorities were meant to identify the baffling beast after a visitor to the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park captured it on camera.

Deciding to take the bull by the horns, the park then shared a picture on social media, hoping that one eagled-eyed member of the public would be able to help them.

The small creature captured the public's imagination.
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

Staff uploaded the black-and-white image to Facebook 6 on April, with a lengthy appeal to amateur nature enthusiasts.

It read: “Captured on game camera - a mystery animal lurking in the Rio Grande Valley! 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?

“Regardless, it's thrilling to see such an incredible animal in its natural habitat. We'll keep you updated as we continue to investigate this mystery.”

It seems there are plenty of Ace Venture wannabes out there, as the post gained a lot of attention with hundreds of people taking on the case of the curious creature in the night-time.

After the image was upload on 6 April, it gained a lot of attention online.
Facebook/Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

Many argued over the identity of the animal with suggestions including an anteater, a bear, a weasel cat and even the mythical Chupacabra.

One user even thought the animal resembled a capybara, despite the animal being only found in South America. Though they weren’t able to explain how the rodent would have arrived in Texas, they did suggest that it could be ‘a cross between 2 species'.

Others suggested taking dirt samples from the area, in the hopes of finding skins cell and using DNA to identify the animal.

However, the online sleuths managed to determine that the animal was most likely a badger with some being unimpressed with the park’s attempt to identify it.

One user angrily wrote: "I hoped I would see something truly mysterious, and worthy of a head scratch. Didn’t even have to look closely. Unimpressed.”

Despite this, many had been anxiously awaiting news of the animal's true identity and thankfully, staff were able to give an update.

Authorities were able to provide an update.
Facebook/Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

Clearly taken aback by amount of attention the original post had received, they shared that the curious creature was most likely an American badger.

They also explained why it had been so hard for them to identify the animal, stating that it ‘was not commonly seen in the valley’.

It seems if you go down to the wood today, you really are in for a big surprise.

Topics: Environment, US News, Viral, Animals, Social Media