Mutilated carcass is likely coyote, cops say

Palisade resident George Reber wonders why the carcass of an animal is still in a canal in Riverbend Park weeks after he reported it.

Reber, who initially reported finding a mutilated carcass in the park near 36 1/4 Road on Dec. 9, said the animal was skinned and has had its head and paws cut off. Reber believes it to be a dog, but Palisade police say it looks more like a coyote.

Palisade police officer Bob Dalley said the incident occurred outside city limits, yet an officer investigated anyway.

“He was a former wildlife officer and said he thought there was a possibility it actually was a coyote that had been skinned,” Dalley said.

The matter was referred to Mesa County Animal Services. Officials there could not be reached for comment.

Reber said he doubts it was a coyote, but added he, too, couldn’t say for sure.

“I do believe they’re wrong, because it doesn’t look like a coyote,” Reber said Saturday. “This thing is not really a small dog, but it’s a medium-sized dog. I don’t know how they would determine that just by looking down at the corpse. It’s still there, too.”

Reber, who said he called county officials the same day he called Palisade police, said it’s partly in the cold water. As a result, it hasn’t decomposed much, but the carcass has begun to bloat, he said.

As a former coyote hunter himself, Reber said it made no sense why someone would cut off its paws and head.

“The one thing we don’t usually do is cut the head off,” he said. “You take the whole head pelt as well. You try to leave the eye sockets in place with the ears. After you do that, why would you cut the head off? It’s a waste.”


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