CASTILE – Local nature lovers and frequent visitors to Letchworth State Park are split over what animal might have ripped this tree apart.
Amy Appleby posted the photo to Facebook on January 11. Since then, the guesses in the comments section have mostly fluctuated between bear, porcupine, pileated woodpecker.
“Whatever it is, I don’t want to be within sniffing distance of it!” commented Rick Baker.
Appleby said that the photo was taken on the Finger Lakes Trail between the Mount Morris dam and Portageville, most likely about 8 to 12 miles from the dam.
“Likely a Pleated Woodpecker, judging by the size of the chips,” posted Marty Schlabach.
Still, some were certain that a porcupine would fit the bill for this kind of mess all too well. Porcupines are famous gnawers and are known to gnaw fallen trees like this and even log cabins.
“The animal was there long enough to have left scat,” posted Kim Sickles. “If you didn’t see a huge pile of scat there, then it was most definitely a porcupine.”
Others speculated that a bear may have come out of semi-hibernation and done the damage to get at tasty sleeping grubs inside.
“Bears tore the siding off the back of my Aunts house to get the giant honeycomb that’s been there for about 40yrs,” posted DeeDee James.
Appleby said that she did not get any closer to the tree after taking the photo, making footprints or scat signs unavailable.
Thus far, the answer is still up in the air. Some folks jokingly posted that no one can dismiss the possibility of Sasquatches, or that it could have been a particularly energetic chipmunk.