OAK-DRIED CA­NINE

Fortean Times - - STRANGE DAYS -

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.

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