for National Geographic News
A mystery animal is foraging in the grassy fields around a North Carolina company.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Jerri Durazo, a Tyco Electronics employee who photographed the animal.
The slender creature has a kangaroo-shaped head, big upright ears, and a long ratlike tail. From a distance the animal looks hairless, but closer inspection reveals that its coat is a sleek grayish brown.
For two months the animal has roamed the high-tech company's woodsy campus in Fuquay-Varina near Raleigh.
Dubbed the Tyco Animal by employees, the creature's daily appearances have caused quite a stir.
"Every time it would come out, everyone would crowd around the windows on that side of the building to see this thing," Durazo said.
Driven by curiosity, an employee posted the animal's picture on a North Carolina deer-hunting Web site.
Online visitors filled the site's pages with guesses about the beast's identity, ranging from the plausible to the preposterous.
"This could be a hairless Mexican dog," one writer suggested.
Another wrote, "It's a mythical Chupacabras, a dog-like creature that stealthily roam at night and suck the blood from goats in a vampire fashion."
Someone else suggested that "It really looks like some type of Jackal."
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