Strange animal in Oregon

Asked January 22, 2020, 9:48 PM EST

What is this! Body like a couger head like a prehistoric dog. Short hair like a couger except for large Mohawk like mane as in drawing . color mostly gray but Mohawk is black with rusty orange hair in center behind the head. Weird muscle in hind quarter like a coiled snake sorry looks stupid because I couldn't draw it correctly. It also had long guard hairs coming out of the Mohawk silver with black tips. Big eye bones like a cave man. Ran funny like a horse or maybe a deer.?

Douglas County Oregon wildlife

1 Response

Thank you for sharing your sketch and your description to follow up on our discussion yesterday. I believe you either encountered a wolf or a bear with mange. I spent some time looking at people's pictures (google, "bear with mange" and "wolf with mange" searches of images) of both species with that condition. There are many aspects of some of those examples that fit your description and sketch. I also shared your sketch with 2 other very experienced hunters and professional wildlife scientists, and we all concurred that wolf with mange would be our first candidate, but that a mange-y bear would be a strong second. The bounding gait and speed you observed nudge me toward bear, but the feet and tail in your sketch suggest a canine, like a wolf. The size of the animal you observed also suggests wolf, rather than coyote.
In summary, I'm still not absolutely certain of which species you encountered, but together I think we can be fairly confident that we've narrowed it to the most likely explanations.
Thank you again for sharing this observation! I hope this is helpful,
Dana