A mysterious animal described as a cross between a hyena and a dog has baffled experts after it was killed by shepherds for attacking one of them.
The bizarre creature was killed in the village of Oancea in eastern Romania after it attacked sheep, lambs, birds and dogs.
Footage shows the nightmarish monster dangling from a tree after being burnt by shepherds.
Its head bears a similarity to a hyena’s, even having what looks like a mane.
One local shepherd, who has not been named, told reporters: “I don’t know what animal it was because I have never seen such a thing. It had no hair on its head, only a mane.
“It’s not a dog, it had such teeth.
“And it jumped at the shepherd here on the road! I caught it here on the road. What the hell is this?!
“I’ve never seen it before. Firstly, I said that it was a dog. But it has two rows of teeth.”
Experts are split over what the creature could be and are unable to carry out detailed examinations because of its burnt body.
Adrian Alexandru, the director of Galati County Association of Sport Hunters and Fishermen, said: “In all probability, it is a hyena, an animal that lives in Africa.
“I concluded that this animal came from somewhere in the Republic of Moldova, crossed the Prut (river) and settled near this sheepfold.
“Someone had probably set up a clandestine zoo and this animal probably escaped from there.”
But biologist Madalin Serban, who is also the Director of the Galati Museum Complex of Natural Sciences, disagreed.
“I don’t think it’s a hyena because the body structure is totally different from hyenas,” the expert said. “They have a massive head and different dentition (arrangement of teeth).
“It surely does look very strange. My opinion is that this is a wild, massive dog that was suffering from a skin disease, more than likely a form of scabies.”