Mystery surrounds the discovery of a hideous creature washed up under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
Dubbed the "Manhattan monster," its ghoulish carcass has a mutilated face, hairless flesh and five human-like fingers at the end of its limbs. The gruesome find has sparked an array of theories as to whether it is a giant water-logged rodent, a cooked pig, a swollen dog -- or something more sinister.
Amateur photographer Denise Ginley snapped the mutant creature while walking along the East River on Sunday.
“We were horrified by it and we took some camera phone pictures," she said. “Then finally we decided to come back with my camera and I got up the courage to climb over the fence and get closer to it.”
Some claim it could be related to the mystery "Montauk Monster," which confounded New Yorkers when it washed up at Ditch Plains beach in the exclusive Hamptons in July 2008.
But the New York Parks Department shrugged off the horrifying find, insisting it was just a pig.
A spokesman said they had disposed of the creature, adding: “It was a pig left over from a cookout."
“It was a roasted pig. We didn't count its toes, we just threw it out.”
But people doubting the official line point to the beast’s creepy, human-like hands and feet -- which bear no resemblance to a porker's hooves.
“The Parks Department was probably very quick to identify it as a pig and dispose of it, but it is most certainly not a pig,” Ginley added.
“The most obvious sign being the lack of a cloven hoof, instead this creature has five digits all close together.”
She believes the creature is “some sort of raccoon or giant rodent.”
The photographer said: “The missing upper jaw makes it very difficult to identify and the lack of distinct canine teeth of the lower jaw is confusing.”
Wildlife specialist Dr. Paul Curtis suggests it could be a small dog that died and swelled in the murky river.