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Mystery creature in New York identified

Published: June 27, 2014 4:00 AM

NEW YORK -- A mysterious long-haired critter that's been sighted on the streets of a Bronx neighborhood for several months has a name.

It's a member of the weasel family called a fisher or fisher cat.

Zoologist Roland Kays of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences said the short-legged, furry-tailed creature may have come down the river.

New Yorkers should be thrilled. Turns out the fisher preys on rats and squirrels, but is not a threat to humans.

Fishers were found in Manhattan when the island was first settled. The fur trade pushed them north and into the Adirondacks.

Fisher trapping was banned in the 1930s. Kays says today the fisher population is booming in the Northeast and a trapping season has been reinstated.


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