The photo of the creature photographed on the canal towpath has attracted many comments. Jo Halden writes: "The creature that has appeared twice on your website is in my opinion a squirrel. The squirrel has fallen into the water, become bloated and lost its fur coat.
"A piglet has cloven hooves and a pig shaped nose. An otter has a much wider head across the top and wide paddle shaped feet. I also think it would have a much thicker tail for steering purposes.
Jo concludes: "The creature in the photo has a rodent's tail and feet. Like a squirrel?"
Alison O'Neill adds: "Regarding the photo of the 'creature' found on the canal bank – at the beginning of the summer I saw something in a field alongside the canal at Cox Bank. The animal I saw looked like a larger version of your photo. It was white and appeared to have no fur or hair, it had a long thin tail and small ears.
"I thought it was a small dog at first but it wasn't. I have been wondering what it was but have never seen it since. It was in the field at dusk, sniffing around as if hunting. I hope you get some answers, at least you have a photo which I didn't manage."
Peter and Christine Silvester add what appears to be confirmation of Jo Halden's view. They say: "We have talked to Dr Paul Chanin, the mammal ecologist and international otter expert, who has now looked at the photo of the dead creature, and he says he is at least 98% certain that it is a squirrel. It is certainly not an otter. And if he says it isn't, then it won't be!"
Mind you, Nigel Machin who first photographed the 'creature' writes again: "This is a picture of a dead squirrel (amazing what you can find with Google Image search!):
I can see the likeness, but what about the tail and the lack of fir? Personally I believe we have found a new species "Audlemcanalasmortmus"........"
Audlem Online adds: We have tried to access the picture Nigel refers to, without success. But we very much like the idea of a new species found in Audlem!
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