East Hampton animal control has thrown up their hands on the matter of the Montauk monster, a mysterious creature that washed up onshore in East Hampton around ten days ago and was carted away under mysterious circumstances — and not, it turns out, by animal control. "I can tell you we have nothing to do with it," an employee at the department told us this morning. Since its handsome mug appeared on Gawker on Tuesday afternoon, the beast has become something of pop icon: It has spawned several fans, was featured on Fox, and it's surely only a matter of time before it is approached by ABC about starring in a pilot. But no one can definitively say what — or where — it is. The animal-control employee noted that her supervisor, Betsy Bambrick, was letting messages from the media "stack up" in her voice mail.
She referred us to the Parks Department, which referred us to the Department of Environmental Analysis, where a woman called Margaret Carry-Smyth told us that, as far as they were concerned, the beast was a raccoon. "Larry Penny said it’s a raccoon," said Carry-Smyth, speaking of the environmental-protection director, who was out of the office today. "If you look at it, that little bug on the shoulder area is actually a fly, and that gives you an idea of what size it is," she said. "He said the jaw was broken, and that's why it looks like a beak. With long fingers…it's more like a raccoon." Wait a second: like a raccoon or actually a raccoon? After we hung up, we took her advice. We're looking at it again now, and we're pretty sure what we see is a fly on the shoulder of a smallish monster.
Related: The Monster of Montauk [NYM]
Montauk Monster Mania [NYM]
A Portrait of the Monster As a Young Man [NYM]
What Today's Monster News Tells Us About New Yorkers [NYM]