Monday, February 22, 2016

The Story Of The Shunka Warakin And Its Return Trip Home


Shot and killed in 1886 by a Mormon settler, the mystery creature above was returned home in 2007, after being gone for 121 years, to the grandson of I.A. Hutchins, the man who actually killed the animal. It has been given various names over the years, but most believe it to be a shunka warakin. A cross between a wolf and a hyena.

ENNIS - More than a century ago, a wolf-like creature prowled the Madison Valley, killing livestock and letting out screams that one account said would leave a person’s hair standing on end.

A bullet from a Mormon settler’s rifle ended the animal’s life and triggered stories of the creature that were passed along through generations of family history and local folklore.

The only evidence of the creature’s existence was a missing taxidermy mount and a grainy black-and-white photograph of that mount - which fueled strange speculation about what kind of animal it really was.

Now after 121 years, the taxidermy mount has been found. The creature that once spooked some of the Madison Valley’s first white settlers has come home.

“I never doubted the story,” said Jack Kirby, grandson of the settler who shot the animal.

After reading a Halloween-themed Chronicle story about local legends of strange creatures, Kirby tracked down the mount in the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello.

The museum has since loaned it to him to put on display at the Madison Valley History Museum, although at the moment it resides in the basement of a building on the north edge of town.

The “ringdocus” or “shunka warak’in” - two of the names it has been given over the years - strongly resembles a wolf, but sports a hyena-like sloping back and an odd-shaped head with a narrow snout. Its coat is dark-brown, almost black, with lighter tan areas and a faint impression of stripes on its side.

It measure 48 inches from the tip of its snout to its rump, not including the tail, and stands from 27 to 28 inches high at the shoulder.

The mount is in amazingly good shape, showing no signs of wear and tear and retaining the color of the fur. It arrived in Ennis Friday.

One of its first stops was the gravesite of the man who shot it, Israel Ammon (I.A.) Hutchins.

“We took him down to the cemetery to see I.A. to let him know (the creature) is back in the valley,” said Kirby’s wife, Barbara.

Hutchins shot the animal in 1886 on what is now the Sun Ranch, but not on his first try. He accidentally shot and killed one of his cows when he first spotted the creature on his land, his son Elliott Hutchins recounted in his memoirs.

He killed the strange animal when it appeared on his land a second time and traded the body with entrepreneur Joseph Sherwood for a new cow.

Sherwood was a taxidermist. He mounted the animal and put it on display in his combination store-museum at Henry’s Lake in Idaho. His taxidermy collection was later given to the Idaho Museum of Natural History, where it was kept in storage.

The creature apparently baffled the people who saw it alive, and some speculated it was a hyena escaped from a circus rather than a wolf. The younger Hutchins remembered its haunting screams at night and wrote that after it was shot and in its death throes, the animal bit through a half-inch rope with a single bite and “exerted his very last strength to reach any one of us.”

For the full article, click here.

26 comments:

  1. AC COLLINS FOR PREDIDENT OF THE SUPER FRIENDS!

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    Replies
    1. ^ Thanks for the support TK!

      AC collins

      Delete
    2. ^^^ PRESIDENT OF THE SHIT FUR BRAINS CLUB.

      THATS NOT TK, PROBABLY AN ASSASIN TRYING TO LURE YOU INTO THE OPEN. YOU BETTER HIDE SHIT HEAD BEFORE YOU GET VENTILLATED.

      Delete
    3. ^ president of the shit club - has family membership

      Delete
    4. @12:44 STOP BIENG A SCARED WUSS ! IF YOU ARE THAT MAD ! GO GET MOMMA TO GIVE YOU SOME WARM MILK & COOKIES ,THEN CRY THE NIGHT AWAY IN YOUR PILLOW!,,,,, SHEESH!!
      AC collins -:-))

      Delete
    5. I mean, it works for me. I have cried my self to sleep lots of times in mommas lap. That mean ole TROLL KILLER!

      Can I be "PREZ" like HILLARY.
      AC collins-:-)

      Delete
    6. I wanna be "PREZ" so bad.

      I will suck off all the gay footers --- what ever it takes!
      AC collin-:-)

      Delete
    7. I'll even build a wall, and throw myself over the border.

      I'll take my medication like I'm supposed to.

      I wont skip AA meetings, wieght watchers, or my monthly STD tests.
      AC collins-:)

      Delete
    8. Hey you guys, it would be ok if a registered sex offender is "prez?" I mean you guys know I didn't really touch those little kids like they said , right?
      AC collins-:-))

      Delete
    9. AC (superfriend "PREZ") collinsMonday, February 22, 2016 at 2:07:00 AM PST

      1:44,1:46,1:52. HAA HAAA LOL!

      One thing for shure! you aint TK! (no misspelled words)!

      AC "PREZ OF THE SUPER FRIENDS" collins to you!
      HAAAAA HAAAAAAA HAAAAA HAAA HAA HAAA IDIOT!!

      Delete
    10. I thought you had to be a registered sex offender to be a super friend ??

      Delete
  2. Isn`t it just a deformed wolf or crossed wolf type creature ? - I must say I wouldn`t like to face it !

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    1. STRIPED OR A BROWN HYENA WITH MANGE ,FROM A CIRCUS.
      NEXT !!
      AC collins

      Delete
    2. That ac shure knows his stuff Good going ac!

      Adoring fan # 342

      Delete
    3. Yah, he's quite familiar with shit brown and mange.

      He worked at a cirrcus in Mexico shoveling shit.

      Delete
    4. registered sex offender @ 1:59

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    5. 1;59 - still sitting in the cheap circus seat - restricted view behind the marquis poles.

      Delete
  3. A landscaper in Ohio claims he came upon a tall bipedal creature that resembled a gorilla.

    Joe Kalavity, of Athens,said,

    “I look up to see what he’s so interested in, and up ahead, maybe 50 yards at the most, is this big, dark creature standing up on two feet in the moonlight. My first thought was, is that a gorilla? I was like a deer in the headlights I couldn’t move,” he recalls.

    Kalavity, a hobbyist photographer, says he was carrying the camera with him but that as soon as he reached for his camera the purported creature went off the trail and into the woods. He added that the sighting lasted about 20 seconds and the estimated the height of the animal was 8 feet.

    “It was dark and hairy and it walked on two legs. I couldn’t see its face or eyes. It was big. I couldn’t sleep that night,” he said.

    http://cryptozoologynews.com/ohio-landscaper-encounters-8-feet-tall-gorilla/

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    Replies
    1. ^ Great story . I`m buying it as proof all the way.

      Joe

      Delete
  4. This critter reminds me of Australia's famous, now extinct, marsupial wolf. The shape, stripes, and snout.... Curious.

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  5. This critter reminds me of Australia's famous, now extinct, marsupial wolf. The shape, stripes, and snout.... Curious.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds as if it may have been a "one off" from reading the write up as there is no mention of similar critters roaming the woods.

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  6. There's no such thing as Mormons

    ReplyDelete