Mystery of the beast of the East River

Daily Mail – July 26, 2012

Dubbed the ‘Manhattan monster’, a horrifying mystery creature with a mutilated face, snarling snout and five toes on each foot has washed up under the Brooklyn Bridge, perplexing New Yorkers.

Amateur photographer Denise Ginley snapped the ghoulish pink carcass while walking along the East River on Sunday and the grisly images, first published by The Gothamist on Monday, have sparked an array of conspiracy theories as to whether it is a giant water-logged rodent, a cooked pig that a family couldn’t fit in, a ballooned dog or some other, more sinister, being.

‘We were horrified by it and we took some camera phone pictures and then finally we decided to come back with my camera and I got up the courage to climb over the fence and get closer to it,’ Ms Ginley told blog Animal NY.

The New York Parks Department shrugged off the spooky find, that Ms Ginley guessed was ‘maybe two feet, head to tail’, insisting it was just a swine.

‘It was a pig left over from a cookout,’ a spokesman told Animal NY, adding that they had already chucked the creature.

But closer inspection reveals creepy, almost human-like hands and feet, which bare no resemblance to a porker’s hooves.

‘The Parks Dept. was probably very quick to identify it as a pig and dispose of it, but it is most certainly not a pig,’ Ms Ginley told The New York Daily News.

‘The most obvious sign being the lack of a cloven hoof, instead this creature has five digits all close together.’

When New York Magazine’s blog Daily Intel – who nick-named the mutant carcass ‘Wilbur’ – quizzed the parks department again, they stood firm.

‘It was a roasted pig — we threw it out,’ a spokesman insisted.

‘We didn’t count its toes, we just threw it out.’

Ms Ginley’s money is on the feral creature being ‘some sort of raccoon or giant rodent’.

‘The missing upper jaw makes it very difficult to identify and the lack of distinct canine teeth of the lower jaw is confusing,’ she added.

Dr. Paul Curtis, a Cornell University professor and wildlife specialist, reckons it could even be a small dog that swelled up as it rotted in the river.

‘All the hair has slipped off the carcass,’ he told The Gothamist, explaining the hideous creature’s shiny skin.

Others are claiming it could be related to the mystery ‘Montauk Monster’, which confounded New York natives when it washed up at Ditch Plains beach in July 2008.

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