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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What type of beast clawed S. Jersey horse?

By Peter Mucha
Inquirer Staff Writer
New Jersey wildlife officials hope to determine what kind of animal severely wounded a South Jersey horse on Friday night. "We're investigating whether the injuries were caused by a domestic animal or a wild one," said Darlene Yuhas, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Something jumped on the back of a large white thoroughbred at the DD Ranch on Watsontown-New Freedom Road in Winslow, said Capt. Michael Bartuccio of township police.
Its underside was ripped open "from armpit to armpit" and its back was covered with gashes, he said.
"I know it sounds gross, but I could actually see his lungs going back and forth," Bartuccio said.
"It's incredible he's still alive."
With no witnesses who can talk, police aren't sure if the predator was some kind of dog, bear or cat.
Across the road from the ranch is a large privately owned tract of woods and swamp, Bartuccio said.
No large wild felines are known to prowl the area, though, and no similar attacks on area livestock have happened in recent years, he said.
Tales of cougars being sighted around South Jersey have been mentioned to Winslow police, but Yuhas downplayed that as a possibility.
"We do get a handful of reports about cougars from year to year but none of them have ever been verified," she said.
Investigators have already been to the ranch and another expert was expected to visit today, she said.
Since vets removed flaps of skin and cleaned the wounds, the horse's healing has been remarkable, Bartuccio said.
"This horse is an incredible horse and calm as could be," he said.
A horse owner himself, the captain estimated the wounded animal to be about 13 to 16 years old.
Sounds like South Jersey should also remain calm.
Even if a Philadelphia TV station wondered in a headline:
"Is the Jersey Devil on the attack?"

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1 comment:

  1. As a follow-up, the paper later reported that it was a feral dog.

    I just thought it was sort of funny in that of course they jump to its being the Jersey Devil... rolling of eyes commences.

    ReplyDelete