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From the Files of the River Journal's Surrealist Research Bureau

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Shunka Warak'in Found

Constant readers will no doubt recall that last summer I reported on my searches throughout southern Idaho for the mounted and stuffed remains of the legendary beast "shunka-warak’in," a strange hyena-like animal shot in the 1890s near Henrys Lake and put on display in bars and museums in Idaho until gradually fading, forgotten by history by the 1930s.

One of the many museums and taxidermy establishments I’d hunted through has recently confirmed they found the stuffed beast languishing in its basement storage room. It would’ve been nice if The River Journal could’ve been credited as its discoverer, but the honor goes to Jack Kirby, grandson of the original shooter, who read an article in the Bozeman Chronicle about the beast and, knowing his grandfather had donated a bunch of items to the Pocatello Historical Society, guessed correctly that that’s where the beast’s remains were located

Present plans are for the stuffed animal to be part of a special exhibit at the Madison Valley Historical Museum when the facility re-opens in May, 2008, though there’s already a good deal of behind-the-scenes controversy over just which state and museum the remains belong to and where they should be displayed, with a number of different museums and historical societies at loggerheads. Jack Kirby, the present "owner" of the beast, has so far refused to submit sample hairs for independent DNA analysis to determine if it’s really one of the last surviving species of prehistoric hyena, thought to be extinct since the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago.

While researching this story last summer I received several interesting e-mails and phone calls from the Clark Fork area relating a possible similar animal around the back hill country there. Go to the Cryptomundo website for an up-to-date photo of the shunka-warak’in . FYI, Cryptomundo lists the finding of the "shunka" as the second-most important cryptozoological story of the year! (Gordon Holmes’ May 26, 2007 video footage of the "Loch Ness Monster" was rated # 1.)

And speaking of Loch Ness, the new Disney film "The Water Horse" opened on Christmas day to generally favorable reviews and after I take my nephew Tyler to see it I’ll get back with a review for you. Also in crypto-zoological news: On January 10, the Discovery Channel will be airing a marathon "Weird Travels," segments detailing their favorite weird "hotspots." Included are the episodes Lake Monsters, Creepy Creatures I and II, and Mystery Spots. Keep your eyes peeled.

‘til next time, Yours for a Strong America! and Remember, Spread the Word: Soylent Green is People!

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Shunka Warak'in

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Jody Forest Jody Forest When he's not hidden behind the palatial gates of his Dover estate, Casa de Bozo, Jody is out using outdated and corny pickup lines on various gullible women.

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