On July 29, 2008, a photo of a strange, unidentified animal that appeared to have a beak, long, thin paws and the body of a dog was posted on the blog Gawker. The location of the dead creature's body was given as Montauk, Long Island, New York, and the photographer was listed as Jenna Hewitt. Jenna and two of her girl friends, Rachel Goldbert and Courtney Fruin. The girls thought they found the creature and took their photograph on or around July 13, 2008.
Newsday.com found other eyewitnesses who said they had seen a similar creature alive, including a description of a "longer snout or beak."
August 1, 2008, Newsday, New York: "Elizabeth Barbeiri said her family saw it about a mile east of Gurney's Inn in Montauk, July 14, 2008. And Ryan Kelso, via iPhone, said he spotted it -- alive! -- in the Montauk dunes. 'It looked about the size of an average fox, gray in color, eyes like a mole, hairless and was breathing quite heavily,' he wrote. 'Needless to say we were freaked out by this discovery and fled the area quickly.'
Lavey Fater saw a surfer bring one to shore, near Ditch Plains. 'It was hairless and gross. The surfer said he had no idea what it was, but that he threw it in the dunes because he didn't want to be surfing next to it.'
Keith found something last week in Greenport; Chris found one a month ago at Jones Beach east of Field 6. ('The one I saw had a longer snout or beak or whatever you want to call it.' ) Sean said he buried one, 3 feet deep, in South Jamesport."
Another group of eyewitnesses included Ryan O'Shea of Brooklyn, New York, and Christina Pampalone, of East Northport. Christina used Ryan's camera to take several photographs of the dead animal from different belly angles than Jenna Hewitt's which was from the back and emphasized the "beak" mouth that in Christina's photographs looks more like a dog's teeth.
Ryan O'Shea told Newsday, "Everybody I showed our pictures to said it looks like a dead dog. But looking at the claws, and at the teeth in the front, it looked like it could be something else, something vicious. I kept thinking, 'Boy, I hope its mother isn't around.'" O'Shea said the body was small, about 2.5 to 3 feet long.
Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin, a wildlife expert, told FOX News that the beak was "actually canine teeth. What we have is a racoon." But other contacted scientists have not been so certain and the mystery persists because the girls said one of their friends took the dead body they photographed in a bag to his home where it has disintegrated to slimy bones, waiting for more scientific study.