Remember the Suining mystery beast from a couple weeks ago? It's baaaaaack ... in the wild, that is, after researchers identified it and then released it.
From Suining News Web:
After the county forestry administration took this unidentifiable creature and the "stone marten" away, a thorough examination was carried out. According to the body shape and length, and after consulting with various sources and comparing photographs, the examiners believed that the animal is a Himalayan weasel suffering from a skin disease that caused it to lose its hair. (Cross reference: China's Forestry Administration website, which lists full Chinese name, common name, English common name, scientific name, order, family, genus, species, and native areas.) And the so-called "stone marten" is actually a masked palm civet [which, because it is sometimes consumed by humans, was highly implicated during the SARS outbreak in China].
Xu Zhihong, who has worked as the chief of the Daying County Forest Police under the Forestry Administration for 18 years, said that this is the first time he's seen a Himalayan weasel, and it's the first time since the formation of Daying County that such an animal has been confirmed to live there. He said that in recent years, Daying has been aggressively reforesting and the forest cover is growing, enhancing and protecting the ecological environment. The natural environment is becoming an increasingly choice area for various types of wildlife to build their habitat in as well as procreate their species. The region that this animal was found in is a relatively hilly one with an adequate water supply.
The examiners ensured that the two animals' health was in adequate condition to survive in the wild before setting them free.
But is that the final word on a creature that has already been called a Chinese Chupacabra and an Oriental Yeti?
Is it or isn't it? This is, according to Xinhua, an albino civet cat.
Perhaps not. State media Xinhua (mis?)translates the animal's name as an "albino civet cat" (and, interestingly, cites a different Daying Forestry official and a Daily Telegraph article that we can't seem to find). The animal is pictured above. Perhaps of more significance are the posters on the Baidu Tieba forums are already complaining that the creature does not resemble a Himalayan weasel but looks more like a Qinghai-Tibet stone or beech marten (and then go completely off topic posting photos of fuzzy animals).
Well, since that topic's digressed into total nothingness, it might as well be educational: Next time you stumble across a mystery beast in your back yard, here's a nice long, detailed list of allegedly all of the mammals that can be found in Sichuan province (with pictures—and no, your drunk, naked roommate is not listed).