Texas park officials face a big conundrum after A “mystery animal” was caught on camera inside a South Texas state park.
Now, people on social media can’t stop racking their brains trying to figure out what the creature could be.
On Thursday, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park officials posted a snapshot of the animal on Facebook asking the public to help identify him.
“We are scratching our heads trying to identify this elusive creature,” read a post from the Mission, Texas-based park. “Is it a new species? A runaway from a nearby zoo? Or just a park ranger in disguise?
It didn’t take long for Facebook users to throw in their best guesses as to what the four-legged creature might be, including “an opossum crossed with a raccoon” and a “chupacabra”.
But until now, no one has specified the true identity of the animal.
“Pregnant Badger!” one user wrote in the comments.
Another guessed, “Jaguarundi?” They added: “Rare in Texas, but I’ve seen one once.”
“A good rat the size of Texas,” quipped another.
A jaguarundi is an endangered species of cat that feeds on birds, rabbits, and small rodents, usually hunting during the early morning and evening hours. They move quickly and are slightly larger than a house cat, weighing between 8 and 16 pounds.
Several other Facebook users also guessed the beast was a jaguarundi, but they are extinct in the area, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Park officials later updated their social media post to clarify that the image was captured by a park visitor and that they weren’t exactly sure where in the park the photo was taken.
Meanwhile, the agency said the animal is likely an American badger, but will keep the public informed as park employees “continue to investigate this mystery.”