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Our Strange World
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Unexplained Creatures Are Roaming The Planet

By James Donahue

The stories about strange and unexplained creatures and odd events involving wildlife that we think we know continue to fall on our desk as we surf the web. Here are four new tales sure to boggle the brain.

Chupacabra Seen In Russia

Some say it is the strange Chupacabra, first observed in South America and Puerto Rico, that attacked more than 30 sheep and goats and destroyed 32 turkeys near a Central Russia village. A report by natives said the beast looks like a kangaroo with the face of a dog with huge teeth. Where it prowls it leaves the corpses bloodless, thus the conclusion that it sucks the blood from its victims. All of the dead animals showed similar puncture wounds on their necks as if they were bitten by a vampire.

Sheep herder Yerbulat Isbasov said he heard the sheep bleating loudly and confronted the beast when he went to his barn near Gavrilovka to investigate. He said he first saw a black shadow "like a big dog standing on its hind legs. It leaped like a kangaroo. When it spotted me it ran away." He said the creature appeared to have a hump on its back.

Beast Of Bawtry?

There is a myth among the natives of South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire in the UK involving a large creature known as the Beast of Bawtry. Another name whispered is the Penistone Puma.

Basically the stories in the UK come from folks who claim to have seen brief glimpses of a large black cat in the fields and forests, in a part of the world where such creatures should not exist. The sightings have been going on for years. The latest ones occurred as recently as this past year.

Police said a motorist from Sheffield reported seeing a large black cat, possibly a puma, climbing a tree off Station Road in Bawtry. Two witnesses in the car backed up his story. Officers said they searched the area but found no trace of the cat.

Russell Fern and his wife, Barbara, told authorities: "We saw a large black cat jump into a tree. We both watched for a while. It was much too big to be a normal cat. It was absolutely massive."

They said this animal was about four feet long and had a "football shaped face," jutting jaw and brilliant green eyes.

Taylorville Storm Sirens

There is a strange story about a powerful rainstorm in Taylorville, Illinois, on June 4, 1869, that left the ground alive with hundreds of thousands of nondescript serpents. Observers said the numbers were "beyond all estimate."

A report said that "boys and men take them from the pools in hundreds and they are brought to town for inspection. It is the universal testimony of all the people that no creature anything like those was ever before seen by them."

The creatures were described as measuring from 18 to 24 inches long and three-fourths of an inch in diameter. The tail (if snakes have tails) was described as flat, it had no fins, but an eel-like head and a sucker-like mouth. Its eyes were small. Also each creature had a pair of "perfectly formed appendages" - similar to those of a turtle - located just behind the head.

A professor of biology at Lincoln Land Community College suggested that they were an amphibian known as a "lesser siren." This man said that such creatures usually are only about two feet long but they also have gills. The people who observed the Taylorville fall made no report of gills.

The lesser siren is a name for a species of aquatic salamander. It also is referred to as the two-legged eel, dwarf siren and mud eel. This might explain the creatures that fell out of the sky over Taylorville, but it doesn't explain why it happened, or where they came from.

Attacking Squirrel

Authorities at Winter Park, Florida, were forced to capture and test a squirrel after it aggressively attacked and bit two children and some adults in Central Park. One man said he captured the squirrel under a bucket after it turned on his friend. But he let it go again after county officials failed to show up following his call. A rabies test returned negative.

--January 2007