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Mystery creature prowls AdvancePosted Tuesday, July 31, 2007, at 9:35 PM
This mystery creature was seen across the highway from Town & Country in Advance. What do you think it is???
I've had a pretty sharp guy working on the project for about two weeks, since before I posted my first creature alert on this blog site - and each time I get another photo, it only looks a bit less blurry.
I emailed the still photo to my daughter, who first thought it looked like a hampster and then, in the next photo, a hyena. Of course, neither of these is a remote possibility, given the size of the animal and the long tail. Never have seen an 80-pound hampster with a long tail... As for the hyena idea, I don't see it.
Sgt. Garner was in the police cruiser in the Town & Country parking lot when he first saw the animal across Highway 25. By the time he started the video camera, the animal was in Brian Bess's car lot. In the video, you first see its legs, as it walks from behind a truck. Then, when it comes out from the truck, it walks across the lot, looking back toward the police car, moving like a cat.
Sgt. Garner says that there have been incidents with bobcats trying to catch and eat the wild puppies that sometimes populate that thicket back behind Semo RediMix. The police have been called out when residents have heard screaming in the region. At that time, Sgt. Garner saw only the heads of the cats, so he couldn't confirm what type of cat it was. Large paw prints have reportedly been found, but I have no visual proof of this.
Who'd have thought that Advance had such wild regions within the city limits?
Several farmers in the area have reported seeing big cats at the edge of their fields when they were plowing, but, of course, they have no opportunity to catch them on film. Not many farmers carry cameras on their tractors. (Tractor-cams??)
Sgt. Garner did confirm a suspicion that I've had: The increased corn production has created a lot of cover for large animals, so that might explain why they've moved into the area.
A hunter friend of mine (Bob Rhodes) who saw the video thinks that the cat is young. If that's true, it could just be moving through. When I did my first report on big cats in the area last year, the conservation agent said that they could travel a 200-mile range.
For now, we'll have to be content to speculate on what the creature is. Cat? Dog? Hyena? Hampster? A Loch Ness type creature that has crawled up out of the drainage ditch? ....Or maybe swamp gas???
What do you think is prowling Advance?????
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.