Miane Today,LEWISTON — DNA tests have removed the veil of mystery from a creature that created a media and Internet sensation. It was just a dog — 100 percent dog, according to the Sun Journal.
The newspaper ordered up tests to end the speculation by readers who thought the creature may have been a Tasmanian devil, a dingo, a wolf or coyote. Some of the more outlandish theories involve mutations and extraterrestrials.
Dr. Yuri Melekovets, the laboratory director at HealthGene Corp. in Toronto, said he's certain that the creature was just a dog.
The animal, which was hit by a car while chasing a cat, was photographed by a local resident and the image was provided to the newspaper. People in Turner speculated that it had been a mystery creature that killed pets and screamed at nights, terrorizing residents.
It had a short snout, small ears and blue eyes.
Michelle O'Donnell, who saw the animal days before it was killed, described it to the newspaper as "the weirdest-looking thing I have ever seen."
State wildlife biologists and local animal control officers declined to go to Turner to examine the remains of the animal.
Without any official findings, the creature obtained near-mythical status as word spread in the media and on the Internet. The newspaper obtained a paw from the animal's remains and ordered up its own tests.
Melekovets said the dog was likely a mix of breeds. He said there could be a trace of "rare breed" in the specimen. His guess? Perhaps a fairly new breed from Germany known as an Eurasier, which is a cross between a wolfspitz, chow and Samoyed.
His conclusion supports the findings of a University of Maine professor, Irv Kornfield, who also determined that the creature was a dog.
Kornfield said the unique DNA signature was run through the nation's gene bank database, where DNA sequences are logged, and it "most closely resembled the very common genetic signature for domestic dog."
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