Despite being discovered over a year ago, wildlife officials in Idaho concede that they still have no idea what caused a downed mountain lion to sport a strange, 'horned' head.
Images of the bizarre creature went viral in early January of 2016 due to the mountain lion's strange condition which caused teeth to grow out of its head, making it look like it had horns.
News outlets around the world, including C2C, published the remarkable image of the 'horned' creature and baffled readers offered their best guesses as to what may have been behind the animal's mysterious appearance
Looking back on the furor of the animal's fifteen minutes of fame, an official with the Idaho's Department of Fish and Game marveled to the Idaho State Journal that "we had people contacting us all the way from California to France."
Despite the overwhelming amount of interest in the case, the cause of the creature's deformity remains a mystery to this day.
The prevailing theory continues to be that the 'horns' were spawned by a teratoma tumor which is a bizarre growth that can often feature teeth and hair.
Other possibilities included that the anomalous appendages were the remnants of the animal's lost twin and more fantastic suggestions such as a mutation caused by nuclear radiation and even the infamous chupacabras!
Ironically, the only answer that was definitively ruled out by officials in Idaho were claims that the photos of the creature were actually a clever hoax since an officer with the Fish and Game department examined the animal when it was initially killed.
However, ultimately solving the mystery has proven to be rather difficult for authorities because the man who took down the animal never brought it in for testing or further examination.
Since he was not legally required to do so, the mysterious mountain lion has essentially disappeared, although there are rumors that the one-of-a-kind creature was taken to a taxidermist for preservation.
With that in mind, it's unlikely that we'll ever truly know the answer to what caused the unfortunate animal's head to grow 'horns.'
While that may be a bit disappointing to some, the good news is that there haven't been any other 'horned' mountain lions found lurking in the forests of Idaho in the last year.
Source: Idaho State Journal