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Media Article # 346

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Mystery animal is terrorizing neighborhood, residents say

By Tony McNary

In a neighborhood area off South Cooper, residents say a mysterious creature on the prowl has grown larger, more violent and they're afraid its closing in on them.

"We are scared to come out at night." say Helyn Williams.

In the past few months, cats and all our dogs have been disappearing. Workers from the Shelby County Environmental Office didn't find anything when they combed the area Wednesday afternoon. But Helyn Williams knows something dangerous is out there, because she videotaped dead animals found mutilated along the railroad tracks.

No one has ever seen the creature but many have heard it.

"Its real loud I mean it makes a ringing in your ear and it shakes the whole brick house." said Lori Armour. Could it be the sounds from a nearby factory, or the squeal of brakes on the train tracks?

Wildlife officer Andy Tweed says the most likely culprit is a coyote.

"Apparently it just looks like a coyote problem right now it may be something larger than that but we haven't found evidence of it." But neighbors feel certain its much larger and more fierce.

Many of them have installed fences and some have even mounted outdoor cameras that they can monitor from inside. "If it can catch a cat I know its big and fast and the footprints are real big." says Armour. Ernestine Smith worries that the humans will be the next victims.

"I think whatever it is, if it gets any larger it will probably start eating people." Whatever it is, everyone wants it captured before that happens. On Friday morning the city plans to chop down some of the thick brush.

They think it will force the animal to go elsewhere, but neighbors say they want it caught so that it doesn't move on and endanger others.

Bibliographical Information: is the Web site for a TV station in Memphis, Tennessee. This article is the transcript of a TV news piece on this story. All the witnesses and authorities quoted in the article can be seen in that clip. See link to Web site below.

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