| "'Feejee Mermaid' has become the generic term for the many fake mermaids that can be found around the world..."
This article contains information relating to a hoax. According to Cambridge dictionary a hoax is "a plan to deceive a large group of people; a trick."
The Abbagoochie (pronounced abba-GOO-cheez) is a hoax creature resembling a cross between an owl, a fox, and a deer. It is indigenous to Costa Rica, where people refer to it as a "dry land piranha" because it will eat anything, including creatures far larger than itself such as horses and cows. If cornered, an abbagoochie will consume itself "in a devilish whirlwind" rather than allow itself to be captured. They mate only once every 6 ½ years.
In 1999, in an ill-considered move, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) introduced thirteen baby Abbagoochies from Costa Rica into West Virginia in order to keep down the population of overpopulated predators such as coyotes and rattlesnakes. But soon, as reported by Jim Wilson of the Webster Echo in February 2001, the abbagoochie itself multiplied out of control and began attacking livestock. Soon after Wilson's article appeared, sightings of Abbagoochies began occurring throughout the region. Some farmers began carrying shotguns in order to protect their livestock. Concerned parents walked their kids to the school bus to make sure they were safe. And one man reported that he had accidentally run over an abbagoochie.
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