While the hairless beast might be nothing more than a coyote with mange, authorities still don't know what it was -- and it does indeed look otherworldly.
Mark Cothern of Nelson County happened to spot the unusual dog-like animal from his porch and didn't take any chances, WKLY.com reports.
"Well, it's something strange, so I got my rifle to shoot it, get a closer look. And I'm glad I did, 'cause I don't know what it is," Cothern said.
Some researchers are convinced reports of this and similar creatures have a fairly simple explanation: They are most likely coyotes that have been infected by tiny parasites, or mites, causing an infection -- mange -- that results in the animal's hair falling out and shriveled skin.
Laura Higgason of the Humane Society and Animal Control in Nelson County, Ky., doesn't think it was a coyote that Cothern killed on his property.
"This animal is too small to be a coyote, but I saw the photos, and it looks like it's probably a raccoon or an opossum with mange," Higgason said.
"It's not a mysterious animal. A cat's got retractable claws, and this you can see the claws," she said.
DNA testing by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is expected to solve the mystery of the animal's identity.
Read more at WLKY.com.
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