Armadillo brings mystery to town

BRISTOL — It is unfortunately not unusual to encounter dead critters along the rural roads of Vermont. Skunks, raccoons, squirrels porcupines seem to be the primary victims, with the occasional deer mixed in.
But nothing could have prepared Bristol resident Carl and Caroline Engvall for the sight they witnessed in their Cold Spring Road yard last Thursday: A dead armadillo.
Armadillos, noted for having a leathery armor shell, are most commonly found in the central southernmost states, particularly Texas. With no natural predators, they have been recently known to wander as far north as southern Illinois and Indiana.
But Vermont? Unheard of. Until now, apparently.
Caroline Engvall said the specimen that met its maker on her property showed signs of a wound on its head. It measured more than a foot in length (not counting the tail).
“It didn’t make sense,” Engvall said of the find. “It was one of those mouth-dropping moments. Utter bafflement and confusion.”
The Engvalls don’t know how the animal got there. They called the Vermont State Police about their find. A local game warden made an appointment to see the armadillo remains, mainly to satisfy his curiosity, Engvall said.
She anticipated giving the animal a proper burial, though the mystery will probably stay alive for weeks to come.

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