Warning! The content of this post is kind of gruesome and may be disturbing to some readers, especially sensitive animal lovers like me. Reader discretion is advised.
A few days ago, I noticed something laying in my driveway. It looked like a really old banana peel – brown, leathery, withered. I didn’t think too much of it. We always have more garbage than will fit in our can and the crows sometimes break in to it and drag stuff out.
Yesterday, Smarty stopped to sniff the thing and I, remembering that I haven’t bought any bananas in ages, took a closer look. This “banana peel” had four bony little feet with brownish gray fur and part of a tail. I was horrified to realize that it was the remains of one of my little squirrel friends. But…there was no head, bones, inside parts or fur, other than the little bit between the toes. I could not think of anything that would turn a squirrel into THAT. Our neighborhood coyotes leave remnants but mostly just legs and the occasional face. They don’t skin their prey and they don’t pull all the fur off.
I felt sick, wondering what horrible fate had befallen one of my beloved squirrels. I felt doubly sick when I thought about there only being part of a tail. One of my most beloved squirrels of all time, sweet little Mama Thumper with the really short tail, has been missing for several weeks.
When each of the guys got home, I made them go out into the driveway to look at the remains. I wanted to know what they thought might have happened. Don and Michael just shrugged, having no idea. Daniel, who was as disturbed as I, started looking on the internet. According to his Google search, the only creatures that leave a carcass in that condition are aliens and chupacabras, a legendary creature that is thought to be responsible for leaving exsanguinated corpses of livestock.
Great, I thought. Not only do we have coyotes bold enough to roam the neighborhood in the daylight (Don saw one at the house across the street on Sunday) but we have aliens and/or chupacabras!
While I believe there probably is something to some of the creatures of legend (I don’t doubt for a moment that Bigfoot is out there somewhere), I thought there had to be another explanation. I did my own Google search, reading about the way different animals leave the corpses of their prey. The only thing I could find that fit is an eagle, who apparently sometimes turn the skin of their kill inside out. At first I didn’t think the skin was turned inside out because of the fur I saw on the feet but Daniel got brave enough to flip the skin over and there is fur on the other side. Also, the tail seems a little longer than Mama Thumper’s, at least that’s what I’m telling myself….
It seems crazy that an eagle would be able to catch anything here in the neighborhood because the crows patrol the area and chase raptors away. I’ve never seen an eagle down low and only occasionally soaring way up above the neighborhood. And, it doesn’t seem likely that an eagle would eat a squirrel and then drop the remains right by my garage. But, I guess it’s more likely than alien mutilation or a chupacabra kill. Eagle attack is the explanation that I’m going with. Still, when the cats get angry about the cat door being locked, I tell them they can’t go out because there are coyotes, aliens and chupacabras out there! They don’t find it amusing.