What kind of scat is this?

Asked January 14, 2017, 11:56 AM EST

This scat was found in the morning along side of my driveway. We have plenty of woods surrounding us. We are in North Carolina, almost bordering Virginia. I am wondering if you can identify the animal that deposited it. It is about 5 in. high and 5 in. wide.

Surry County North Carolina

3 Responses

Thank you for your question, and I apologize for the delay in responding to you. In researching your question, I could not find any scat example that matched your photographs. I found a couple of examples that come close, but unless someone in your area has lost their muskox or moose, I don't believe those are viable possibilities. Elk scat also looks similar, but I don't think you've got any of those in Surry County yet.

I often check with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission's Wildlife Biologist for my region, Region 8, Danny Ray. He researched it and also circulated your photos among his colleagues, but no one came up with a definite answer. Danny believes it's definitely a herbivore and it's a large animal, based on the plant material you can see in the scat in your photo and the size. He said it looks like a mixture of elk and cow, but doesn't fit either profile, unless the animal ate some unusual type of food that affected the consistency of the stool. He also said that, as far as the wildlife folks know, we don't have any elk in Surry County. He recommended keeping your eyes open for more piles and see if there are any tracks left in the vicinity. If you can send me some photos of some tracks along with their measurements, hopefully we can determine the identity of your animal.

Sorry I can't give you a better answer for now, but thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.


No tracks.

Okay, if you happen to come across this scat again and you do see some tracks, please send us a photograph and info on the dimensions of the tracks, and we will try to provide you with an identification.

Thanks again for contacting Ask an Expert.