Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 25th, 2009
Delphos, O., July 31. – Considerable excitement was created here yesterday when Isaac Good, who lives on the Noah Miller farm in Marion township, about a mile east of Delphos, came into town and reported that he had seen in the Pohlman woods, near the W. C. Baxter farm, between 8 and 9 a.m., a strange looking wild animal that had all the appearance of being a hyena.
Mr. Good first saw the animal in the woods. It was sitting back on its haunches and licking its front paws much in the same manner as a cat or dog would. Mr. Good was quite near the animal before he saw it, or before it saw him. After starting at him for a few moments, Mr. Good says[,] the animal ran rapidly toward a cornfield and disappeared. His description of the strange beast left no doubt that it was a wild animal, that it was a hyena. Mr. Good remained about the vicinity for some time, hoping to get another glimpse of the animal, but was unable to do so.
He was on his way to Delphos to work, but after seeing the strange intruder in the woods, he gave up the idea of work for the day, and came to Delphos and endeavored to organize a number of armed men and procure dogs to chase the animal down. No reports had previously been heard concerning such an animal being seen in this part of the country, but Mr. Good’s word is not doubted.
The animal may have escaped from a circus.“Hyena in Woods Near to Delphos; The Beast Is Thought to Be One That Escaped from Show – Yet at Large,” Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, August 3, 1910.
Thanks for this historical item from Jerome Clark.
Circus escapee is the standard folk explanation for reports of extraordinary or out-of-place animals. — J. Clark.