User Submitted Cryptid Sighting: Kangaroo Hybrid?
Name: Jim (last name kept private at request of witness)
Age: 66 (about age 60 at occurrence)
Number of witnesses: 1
Location of sighting: Acworth, Ga. Near Lake Acworth
Date of sighting: Between 2012-2014
What you believe the creature was: Maybe a sick kangaroo? But it was not. Maybe a dog...but it was not.
Message: “It was sitting in the middle of the road at 5 a.m. so I got a very good up close look. I thought it was a sick dog at first. I was driving to the airport in my car. The sun was just about to come up and visibility was excellent. The sun was not shining in my face.
It appeared to be a large dog with a strangely smallish head and very thick hind legs (It was sitting on its haunches). It either had VERY short hair (like velvet) or perhaps mange as I could see rolls of skin on the back of its neck somewhat like a Shar-Pei dog. It was an all over medium grey in color.
As I got within 40 feet of it. It moved one leg forward....then the other. Then it moved its front legs both forward again (one at a time). I saw the front legs were shorter than they should be for a dog. Then it jumped from the center of the lane into the bushes in a single bound (15 feet or more) WITHOUT having to lower itself for a springing leap like dogs do...this thing just 'bounded away' effortlessly.
When it jumped, I could then see the back legs were about 3 times the length of the front legs. I knew then that it was no dog! In the years since, I have tried to convince myself it was just a Kangaroo of old age, sickly and with no hair. However, its tail was NOT of a Kangaroo. It was much more dog like (It looked about the same size as the front legs) and it did not use the tail in its jump. The tail did not taper like a Kangaroo either.
When sitting, it was as tall as the top of the hood of my car (around 4 feet or a bit more), In mid jump I would guess it was 6 feet or more from nose to hind foot. It appeared to be 50% rear legs when it jumped.
I have not seen it since.”
Jim, first and foremost, thank you for reaching out to us with your sighting of this unknown creature! We are glad you felt comfortable enough to share your personal encounter and we will do our best to try and get some answers on what this thing was.
But, truth be told, this is an interesting one. Right away the sighting comes across as a typical Phantom Kangaroo sighting. The creature possessed back legs longer than the front, short hair, a smaller sized head, around 4ft tall while upright, and was able to leap a great distance. All qualities a typical kangaroo possesses, but there just seems to be something off about this thing.
For some reason, the way you describe it first moving, it almost comes across as if its lumbering across the road in some odd way. Not sure how it appears in anyone else’s mind, but the image of E.T. first walking out of the shed at night in Elliott’s backyard is how I think of this creature moving. And truth be told, that is very unsettling to me. Plus the tail seems to be an issue as well. For starters, as most everyone knows, a kangaroos tail is much thicker and longer than a dogs, so for this creature to have a tail reminiscent of a canines, that’s alarm number one that this probably isn’t a kangaroo.
Issue number two is that you state the creature did not use its tail in order to jump. Now this would be a problem if the creature you saw was a kangaroo as these marsupials need the full use of their tails to jump. If they don’t have complete control of it, they cannot jump, simple as that. While it’s not a common fact most people know, it is known by many that if you were to lift a kangaroos tail off the ground, it would be unable to hop entirely as its method of stabilization and balance is gone.
Finally, we need to touch on the topic of mange for a moment. Mange, for those that don’t know, is a skin disease caused by mites. These parasites burrow into the skin and cause such severe itching that the infected typically scratches off all of their hair which leads to an infection that can cause crusty scabs to grow on the now hairless body. It is an awful sight to see for sure and we feel terrible for any animal that is unfortunate enough to get it. But even though the animal infected looks considerably different after its hair loss, it always remains the same shape and has the same overall appearance. So it would be difficult to mistake a kangaroo without hair as looking like anything but a kangaroo without hair. Dogs, foxes, bears, sure, these things look odd bald. But a kangaroo is pretty distinguishable with or without hair, and you even state that the visibility was excellent at the time of the sighting. So to not be fully sure what this creature was, even after getting a good look at, makes this whole thing even weirder!
It’s these reasons that I just can’t bring myself to say without a doubt that what you saw was truly a Phantom Kangaroo, and that’s irritating to me! We know that Phantom Kangaroo’s exist as they have been documented all across North American and have even been photographed and video taped. There is no reason to doubt their existence, they are real. Just last Tuesday (June 25, 2019), a Kangaroo was spotted in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, and as of this writing, it still has not been captured despite a pretty decent search. So when a creature comes along that checks nearly every box to make it a marsupial except the last few, its frustrating because we got so close to labeling it!
So, after putting my personal frustrations towards this creature aside, I must conclude that what you saw was something unknown. It had some traits of one animal, but also some traits of another as well. It behaved in a known way, but also an unknown way. It was it’s own thing, and it appears that it’s going to remain that way until it decides to once again stand in front of another driver making their way through Georgia.
Thanks again Jim! If you do ever manage to see it again, please let us know right away!
-The Pine Barrens Institute
Image Credit: Google