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Name That Species: What In The World Is This Strange Creature (Video)?

Patch logo Patch 5/27/2022 Beth Dalbey
From a certain angle, the creature caught on Renee Schiavone's security camera looks like monkey. But it isn't. © Image courtesy of Renee Schiavcone From a certain angle, the creature caught on Renee Schiavone's security camera looks like monkey. But it isn't.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA — We love a good “what in the world kind of animal is this?” mystery here at Patch.

So when Patch managing editor Renee Schiavone shared a door camera image of some strange creature lurking around her family’s Reche Canyon home, we latched onto that like a Bob Marley parasite.

At first glance, it looked like Cousin Itt from “The Addams Family,” which, of course, is impossible because Cousin Itt isn’t real, however disappointing that may be. Admit it, you would like to live the lives of Morticia and Gomez for just one day, wouldn’t you? Fascinating as it might be to go down that particular California ground squirrel hole, to bring the discussion back on track:

Replay Video

If it’s not Itt, what the heck is it? Once you see Itt, you can’t unsee Itt.

At the same time Renee was quizzing her Patch colleagues about what it is if not Itt, her husband, Ed, was also asking his buddies what the heck it is.

So, think about this: Patch is a nationwide news outlet. No, we’re not tooting our own horn here; this is important for context, and that context is this: People literally all over the country were wondering what the heck was roaming around Renee and Ed’s back yard.

Even if it doesn’t include Itt and the rest of the Addams Family, that’s some kind of grapevine isn’t it?

From a certain angle, the creature in the screenshot looked like some kind of monkey. The video disabused us of this guess and several others.

Wait, wait, wait, Renee’s friends and Ed’s friends said in their own name-this-species focus groups. Is that a … could it be … oh, our collective goodness gracious, is that what we think it is?

How did Renee and Ed get so lucky?

So while we can’t definitively say this because we’re not actual scientists or anything, we might put some money on it being a polka-dotted, hand-standing skunk.

Some of us are a little jealous, to be honest. Spotted skunks are the bomb diggity. They are not only cute as can be, we think they’re a particularly polite species.

They do handstands and raise long, beautiful fluffy-as-a-feather tails before getting down and ugly with their stink. There’s a lot to respect in that. It’s fair warning. In skunk language, it means, “You’re going to regret it if you come closer.”

Which brings us to Layla, Renee and Ed’s golden retriever, and her insistence that she also investigate what interrupted them from a sound sleep around 3:30 Tuesday morning. There’s a lot to admire about that, too.

They weren’t sure what it was when they reviewed the camera, but confident Ed wasn’t going to have to confront a criminal, he and Layla investigated. The as-yet unidentified polka-dotted hand-standing skunk had disappeared without doing any nasty business, so everyone went back to sleep.

And once our armchair sciencing and sleuthing brought us to the conclusion that, squee, what we once through looked like Itt was almost undeniably the cutest skunk on the planet, Renee wiped that figurative sweat off her brow.

Layla has been sprayed by a skunk before.

“You know when she’s been sprayed,” she told us.

No amount of cute will take that smell away.

Looking at the camera every morning is a ritual now. And with a couple of cameras on their 2-acre property, there’s a lot to see. One of the cameras showed our new friend the spotted skunk just strolling around like it owned the place, doing its little handstands to everyone’s delight because it did so without the olfactory affront.

“There’s something fun and exciting about living in the wilderness,” Renee told us. “We have peacocks, rabbits, squirrels, coyotes, wildcats, donkeys — you just never know.”

Layla knows all about coyotes. And she doesn’t like them, with good reason. Ed gave her a bone from his steak a couple of weeks ago, and do you know that a coyote boldly walked up and snatched it right out of her mouth.

If there is any justice in this wild world in which Renee and Ed and their children have made their home, that little polka-dotted skunk will march right up to the thieving coyote, stand on its hands and just let ‘er rip.

We hope you enjoyed this little story. Please share your own. What’s the strangest thing you ever saw happening in the middle of the night on your door camera video?

The article Name That Species: What In The World Is This Strange Creature (Video)? appeared first on Banning-Beaumont Patch.


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