It seems after the long history of cryptozoology and the efforts of exploration teams venturing out into the wilderness in the hopes of finding something new, having a cryptid simply handed to you is beyond incredible. And yet that’s precisely what happened to one zoo in China who are now scratching their heads and asking for help identifying this incredibly alien looking and unidentified creature.
The strange animal is being held at the Wenling Zoo in China. The creature was allegedly dropped off by a gentlemen who would not give his name and left. The creature, which looks to experts like a cross between a rhesus monkey and a large rat or opossum has front paws that look more like hands, eyes facing forward in front of it instead of to its sides, and a bizarre fur pattern that looks like nothing they have ever seen before. The creature reportedly is in good health, although no one knows what it is.
Where did the creature come from? Is it a natural mutation or are there more creatures like this one? And finally how common is this sort of thing? The first two questions may remain a mystery, but the third can be answered with a simple, “Almost never.” Of course the almost in that statement comes with its own story. There have, in fact, been several cases of creatures being dropped off that cannot be identified, but most of them happened in the distant past – and even ten under very different circumstances.
Cuvier’s beaked whale, previously thought to be nothing more than a legend, was spotted after its discovery was confirmed several time in fisheries and even interacted with people, although it was never actually taken to a zoo. Similarly the Giant Panda, once thought to be a legendary creature, has been taken to zoos but is under critical threat of becoming extinct now. And finally there is the Hoan Kiem turtle of Southeast Asia, which was confirmed and even put on display in the Temple of the Jade Mountain – although it was no longer alive at the time.
So will we ultimately find out what this bizarre creature is? Will we solve this mystery or will it continue on to become its own unexplained strange species? How could it have eluded so many people? And why would explorers have never written about it despite being far different from any others?
Some have said it does share a few similarities to another creature known to reside in the area – the spotted cuscus. But some say the cuscus does not share the same eye positioning or snout shape as this mysterious find. Perhaps in time we will know, but in the mean time this is one mystery that has zookeepers baffled.