Mystery creature roaming Bronx streets ID'd - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Mystery creature roaming Bronx streets ID'd

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Mammalogist Roland Kays identified the creature photographed by a Bronx cop near University Heights in April as a member of the weasel family known as a fisher or fisher cat. He says you can think of it as a small wolverine.

Bronx residents should not feel guilty about not recognizing this critter. Over-trapping centuries ago, confined the fisher to a tiny region in the Adirondacks.

But in the last eighty years, this fifteen-ish-pound meat-eating weasel crept back toward civilization.

Unlike a rat, a fisher doesn't scavenge for its next meal. It kills it. And if a population of these small-mammal-slaying nocturnal and tunnel-loving beasts makes its home here in New York City, it could target rats for food, Kays says.

But we'd also prefer our pets remain at the top of the food chain. Kays says Chihuahuas are so small and ratty they could be on the fisher's menu. He adds that we don't yet know if fishers eat house cats. Not terribly comforting, but humans -- children included -- should remain safe from any weasel attacks.


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