Unsolved Mystery

20141016_131848So we have a mystery on our hands and we thought you guys could help us solve it!

See this tree? It grows across the street and one house down from our place.¬†You are probably asking yourself ‘what the heck is so special about this tree?!’ Well, in the last 6-ish weeks, we have found 5 dead animals at the base of this tree.

Here are the facts:

The animals are in the same spot under the tree every time; the side away from the road, near the sidewalk. Four squirrels and one rabbit. No other dead animals have ever been seen anywhere else in the neighborhood by us. Sometimes, the dead animal will not be there when we take Penny for a walk at dinner time, but before bed when we take her out, BAM there they are! So some die when it is dark.

The house this tree is directly in front of sits on a hill, so it is quite a rise to their front door; they do not have a good, direct line of sight to the base of this tree. The other surrounding houses’ view of this tree are either blocked by other trees or they are across the street and down the hill.

We have never heard any kind of gun shots in the neighborhood. Not many people are out and about too much and kids don’t play outside there. There is a power line running above the tree. No odd mushrooms or other plants grow under the tree that we can see.

There is never any blood. The animals are never damaged, never look injured, and are never squished. They all looked healthy and robust.

Hypotheses:

We thought maybe they were poisoned, but that would have to be some fast acting poison to have them all keel over in the same spot.

Or maybe they were electrocuted and all just happened to fall and land in the same spot? But rabbits don’t climb trees/power lines.

Maybe someone is shooting them? No gun shots heard, no blood.

What are the chances that young, perfectly healthy appearing animals all die in the SAME spot over the last month and a half?! Please leave your thoughts in the comments, we are baffled!

 

2 thoughts on “Unsolved Mystery”

  1. I would go with poisoning…. but I agree that it would have to be a pretty fast acting poison. No other trees around have a graveyard like this one?? Maybe they are eating the “poison” else where, and then they all happen to stumble in the direction of said tree, and that’s just as far as they get before they croak…? I mean if they look totally healthy externally….. it must be something internal, and obviously a common factor. Otherwise we have some crazy wizard children who are Avada Kedavra-ing these poor animals for funsies. Who teaches their children these things? Kidding. Harry Potter isn’t real… or is he…?

  2. As you say, it would be difficult for the rabbit, presumably, to get high enough in the tree to get electrocuted…unless it happens to be one of the varietal of Virginia Climbing Rabbits indigenous to those parts, of course.

    Poison seems like a possibility. The squirrels might have been too weak to climb back up the tree and/or fell trying. The rabbit may have been delirious with poison, and mistakenly thought he was a squirrel, and died, then, much the same way…not knowing he couldn’t climb. Could the tree itself be poisonous or have poisonous berries?

    It might be worth asking a local biologist, maybe even at the university…?

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