A news story that was originally just supposed to be about flooding ended up sparking interest across the internet about a mysterious creature, reported KUTV. The station typically reports on Salt Lake City news such as weather and sports, but a shadowy encounter has people buzzing.
During the “News This Morning” segment with reporter Morgan Saxton, there was a startling interruption during the newscast. As Saxton began to report in Spring Lake, a creature walked across her and the camera crew and into the fields behind her. “I think it’s a dog, I’m not sure, but um anyway, there’s some kind of creature below me…” reported Saxton before going on to explain the mudding and damage of the area she was in, attempting to stay on task.
“I hope that’s a dog too, if not go get in the truck,” laughed KUTV reporter Jenny Hartman when the news returned to her. “Chase is freaking out, he doesn’t think it’s a dog, so maybe go check.” Hartman was most likely referring to KUTV reporter Chase Thomason.
The suspicious encounter resulted in so much online debate that the news station created an entire post focusing on the supposed cryptid. People were going back and forth between dog or mountain lion. After questioning from KUTV’s Holly Menino, The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) appeared to be dumbfounded as well.
Terrifying ???? A dog, maybe a mountain lion, made it’s TV debut during my morning live shot!!! What animal do you think this it is? pic.twitter.com/gklGAGHH5e— Morgan Saxton (@KUTVMorgan) October 3, 2018
“From the video, it’s difficult to tell,” they responded. “We will visit the scene this morning and look for tracks or any other signs to help positively identify the animal.”
After the biologists visited the scene of the crime, the mystery came to an anti-climatic close. Prints left by the animal were identified as mere dog prints — and the dog itself was even found. The owner sent in a photo to the news station to confirm the canine’s identity.
“We’ve all been duped by a DOG!” tweeted Thomason. “Utah DWR believe it’s a dog based on the paw prints AND the owner just sent us this photo!” Thomason shared a photo of an innocent-looking normal dog resting in the outdoors. The dog did indeed appear to match the “creature” that invaded Saxton’s newscast.
The public was justifiably riled as even professionals — such as a biology expert Saxton tweeted about — were unable to identify the animal from the video. Fortunately, this just ended up being a sweet little dog that was curious about the ruckus near their home.