; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, July 31, 2020

Was A Shunka Warak’in Seen Near Laredo, Texas?

3 young men observed a hyena-like cryptid near Laredo, Texas in the early 1980s. Over the years, one of the witnesses firmly believes that this creature was a relict Ringdocus or Shunka Warak’in.

I recently received the following account:

"When I was about 17, my brother, a friend, and I were hunting in the wilderness behind our subdivision, just south of Laredo, Texas. The area was being developed, so we were walking through wide swaths - about fifty yards - of rough dirt that had been bulldozed through the mesquite, huisache and palo blanco trees on the rolling hills. On either side of these swaths, that would one day be streets, were huge piles of dead trees, cactus and grass.

It was a gray day, rainy and cold. I think it was December 1983 or January 1984. We were on our way home, walking downhill, in the middle of one of these open, dirt swaths. Then, we saw it.

At the very base of the hill, about 30-40 yards away, a large, black canid, a dog-like creature, ran from our left to our right. Leaving the tangled brush on one side and dashing into the tree pile on the other side. The way the animal moved and its shape made me think it was a hyena. However, hyenas are not black.

My brother and I just watched, as our friend raised his .22 rifle and fired all of his ammo at the running creature. He didn’t hit anything; he rarely did. He was always a terrible shot and tended to use “volume in place of accuracy.”

We saw the creature for maybe ten or fifteen seconds, as it loped across the opening. I never felt frightened, as it never looked towards us. It was just on the move. After it had passed, I turned to my brother, who must have been twelve or thirteen and asked: “What did you see?”

“Hyena.” He said.

“Yeah, me too.” I said.

We made our way home, and later we continued hunting in those woods, never seeing that creature again. I had forgotten about it until I was in grad school in 2010.

I was reading on Loren Coleman’s cryptid site, and he had posted a story about the “Shunka Warak’in,” a rare Native American cryptid. A specimen had been shot in the 19th century and its taxidermied body had been displayed in a general store for some time before being ”lost.” The article was about how the specimen had been found, and when I saw the photo, I thought, “That’s what we saw.”

I emailed Coleman, saying that I believed that my brother, our friend and myself, were the last living people who had seen a Shunka, relating the same story as above. I received no response.

I am a native Texan. My brothers and I have been lifelong hunters with guns and bows. We have hunted all over the state and know the animals that are in our woods. This was not one of them. It was not a coyote, nor was it a Mexican Wolf. It was not a dog. After much research, I think it may have been something like a relict ringdocus, a hyena-like canid that existed in the Americas in the past, and is believed to have gone extinct about 10,000 years ago. Additionally, I am not an idiot bullshitter, we have plenty of those in Texas. I possess a Degree in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s Degree in Rhetoric and Composition from Texas State University-San Marcos. Prior to that, I served as a paratrooper in the 82d Airborne Division for a few years." AB

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