What the heck IS that thing?
A bloated, pig-like carcass spotted beneath the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend has spooked New Yorkers buzzing about mutant river “monsters.”
Photographer Denise Ginley shot pics of the rotting, sand-covered corpse on Sunday. “My boyfriend and I were walking along the East River on our way to a farmer's market when we spotted it among some driftwood on a small stretch of sand below the Brooklyn Bridge that you can barely call a beach,” she emailed the Daily News.
"We were horrified by it and we took some camera phone pictures and then finally we decided to come back with my camera and I got up the courage to climb over the fence and get closer to it," she told the blog ANIMAL New York.
Ginley sent the photos to Gothamist, which published them on Monday and sparked furious speculation -- and a few conspiracy theories -- on local blogs and social media.
Vickie Karp, a spokeswoman for the Parks Department, said the creature was a “discarded cooked pig” and that the department “threw it out.” But the purplish brute's long tail and hoof-less claws made for one freaky swine, naysayers said.
"The Parks Dept. was probably very quick to identify it as a pig and dispose of it, but it is most certainly NOT a pig,” Denise Ginley stressed to the Daily News. “The most obvious sign being the lack of a cloven hoof, instead this creature has five digits all close together."
"My best guess would be that this is some sort of raccoon or giant rodent. The missing upper jaw makes it very difficult to identify and the lack of distinct canine teeth on the lower jaw is confusing.”
In a post in New York magazine's Daily Intel blog, titled “We’re Supposed to Believe the New East River Monster Is Just a Pig?” writer Joe Coscarelli tagged the rotting hulk "Wilbur," and said it looked like something "in between a rodent of unusual size and a part-human werewolf."
Dr. Paul Curtis, a Cornell University professor and wildlife specialist, mused to Gothamist that it could be a small dog that ballooned with decay. “All the hair has slipped off the carcass,” Curtis said, explaining the animal’s creepy smoothness.
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