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The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, familiar with every animal and plant to be found within the Department’s 10,000 acres, has a new mystery on its hands after Parks’ employees recently caught sight of an as-yet-unidentified creature that appeared to be foraging    a

remote area of one of the county’s outlying parks. The large, fur-covered animal was observed searching in a heavily wooded area for edible late-winter plants and small rodents, which prosper year-round and likely make up a large part of the animal’s diet.   


“Frankly, this one kind of caught us off-guard because we are pretty good at recognizing animals and we ought to know what’s living in the parks. Everyday we see raccoons, deer, squirrels, woodchucks, and other types of easily-recognizable creatures. This was different, and let me tell you that this creature was large, fur-covered and really likes eating roots and things. We watched it for a few moments but then it skedaddled in a hurry when it spotted us,” said Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel. “It was approximately the size of a small person, definitely not a bear or big cat or anything like that, and it moved very easily through the brush. It was not aggressive, was happily munching roots as it ambled away and even seemed to give a cheerful little wave as it disappeared back into the trees, at which point one of my employees turned to me and said ‘What was that thing?’. We are looking into the ecosystem of the area and anything else that may give us more clues about the identity of this furry forager, and will be keeping his whereabouts under wraps until we can learn more.”


Erie County parks have been the site for encounters with strange animals, and people, for decades. Older area residents remember the sensational Moth-Man encounters at Chestnut Ridge Park in the 1950’s, a two-week phenomenon that was originally believed to be extraterrestrial in nature but was ultimately revealed to be just really bad swamp gas, as well as the tales of the Como Lake serpent, which (as legend has it) was spotted from time to time rising from the murky depths of Como Lake. Affectionately nicknamed “Como Lake Connie”, the serpent has not been seen in recent years. Other oddities sporadically sighted at parks over the years include supernatural spectres at Sprague Brook, the Wailing Woman of Wendt Beach and the Franklin Gulf Horror. Reports of strange lights, loud music and disembodied voices in some county parks continue unabated to this day, however. 


 For more information:


On the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry, visit   


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