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Cape Cod The Beast of Truro

I remember the story about the “Beast of Truro”. In September of 1981 several pet cats were found slaughtered and rumors were flying that a panther or mountain lion was responsible for the killings.

These events were attributed to the actions of stray dogs at first, but some people described hearing strange noises at night, and witnesses came forward to report seeing an animal that was clearly not anything native to the area. It was described as a large animal, similar to a small mountain lion, but with a long, ropelike tail. Some locals had theorized the beast to be kinfolk to Mexico’s infamous cow-sucking “Chupacabra”. Before the killings eventually stopped, the media dubbed the creature the “Beast of Truro”.

Who or what was the ‘‘Beast of Truro?’’ Was it a mountain lion preying on local pets and livestock, a dog or pack of dogs, an ocelot, a lynx, a wild cat or some yet unidentified creature?

The first evidence that some unknown predator was loose came when a dozen dead cats were found in the same area in Truro in September of 1981. A 175-pound hog was so badly mauled, its flanks ripped by deep claw marks and a chunk of flesh ripped out of its neck, that it had to be killed. A few days later, two pigs were clawed in their pens in another part of town.

The most dramatic description came from William and Marsha Medeiros of Truro. They said they were taking a walk on the bike path near Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro when the animal appeared 50 feet in front of them. ‘Definite Long Ropelike Tail’

Mrs. Medeiros continued: ‘‘My husband put his arm out to stop me and said, ‘You see what I see?’ Together we said, ‘It’s not a fox.’ It had a very definite long ropelike tail like the letter J. It hit the ground and went up. We figured it was about as tall as up to our knees and weighed 60 or 80 pounds.

‘‘We were frightened and froze. He was in the path and didn’t see us at first. As we made some noise, he turned and we saw his face with short ears.’’

Mr. Medeiros left the path to get a branch to protect them. The creature did not rush for cover, Mrs. Medeiros said, but walked slowly and casually along the path in front of them before disappearing into the nearby woods.

The Medeiroses are sure that they saw a mountain lion. ‘‘What we saw fits that description,’’ said Mrs. Medeiros. At first the couple was reluctant to report what they had seen. ‘‘Who would believe it?’’ Mrs. Medeiros said.

Others had reported hearing strange catlike cries in the night. Edward Oswalt, a Truro Selectman and health officer, said a New York man called in mid-December of 1981 to say he had seen ‘‘something resembling a mountain lion’’ in North Truro. 

The official view in Truro holds that the attacks on the pigs were by a dog or dogs. Thomas Kane, Truro’s Assistant Town Clerk, said: “I think it’s a figment of the imagination. People I know, the people whose opinions I respect, think the damage was done by dogs. At one point, there was talk that the ‘Beast’ was a fisher. Finally it got so ridiculous that I ignored it.”

Of course we all know that Fishers have been confirmed on Cape Cod since last year and coyotes were likely here in the 80’s as well. If you have ever heard a Fisher scream, you could easily mistake it for some kind of “beast”.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 01/30/06
Categories: NatureTruroWeird
Keywords: weird, truro, critters


maybe it was an Indian burial ground and those animals slaughtered were disrupting the grave and thats why only those died and not the people or the people disturbed the grave and the spirit decided to kill there live stock maybe every decade or so after some one new moves in the live stock starts dyeing maybe the animals were symbolic to the family killed at the place when it once was owned by the Indians who were brutally murdered by the people responsible

Posted by larry webb on 10/28/11 at 04:56 PM | #

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