Loggers chopping up an old chestnut oak in Georgia, US, in 1980 found a mummified dog in a hollow part of the trunk 28ft (8.5m) up. It is thought that the dog became trapped around 1960 after it ran into a hole at the bottom of the tree, chasing a small animal up the tree and getting itself lodged in the gap. Unable to escape or be rescued, the unfortunate canine starved to death. Instead of sending the tree off to the sawmill, the workers from Kraft Corporation donated it to Southern Forest World – a tree museum in Waycross, Georgia. The dog was dubbed ‘Stuckie’ after a naming contest in 2002.
Staff at the museum reckon the body mummified because an upward draft through the hollow tree created a chimney effect – carrying away the scent of the dead animal, which would usually attract insects and other organisms. The tree also provided relatively dry conditions, whilst the oak’s tannic acid – a natural substance that absorbs moisture and dries out its surroundings – helped to harden the animal’s skin.
Brandy Stevenson, Forest World’s manager, told
Roadside America: “People always ask me, ‘How did he get in there?’ And I always say, ‘Well, he was a hound dog. Maybe he was after a raccoon.’” Stuckie can be seen at the Southern Forest World Museum and Environmental Center in Waycross, Georgia. (http:// southernforestworld.com/) Sun, Metro, 6 Feb 2018.