The Hunt for 'Dimples', Rochester's Mystery Creature

The Hunt for ‘Dimples’, Rochester’s Mystery Creature

Have you seen ‘Dimples’? If so, Gwen Byrd (and the University of Rochester) wants to hear from you.

For two years, Byrd has been terrorized by a mystery creature that looks like a rodent, moves like a dog, and apparently, is fearless.

Seeking to prove the existence of the animal that she has nicknamed ‘Dimples’, Byrd snapped an image with her digital camera and ran to the internet, seeking help in identifying the creature. “Nobody knows what it is,” she says.


Since it appeared, the creature has been burrowing holes around the Rochester resident’s home, but just as soon as one tunnel has been filled, another appears. It’s even begun scaring her friends and neighbors.

Greg Payne, who mows Byrd’s lawn, recalls a run-in with Dimples:

“I was standing right there and it wasn’t running from me. I almost ran from it. I thought it was a rat, but when it moves, it rises up and then it just walks like a dog.”

Associate professor of biology at the University of Rochester, Vera Gorbunova, took an interest in the animal, visiting Byrd’s property and examining her photo.

In an email to Byrd, Gorbunova wrote, “I am very puzzled by this animal, and so are my colleagues. It looks like a large hairless rodent, but we cannot identify it from the picture.”

Still, there are many, such as Monroe County parks director Larry Staub, who believe that the little beast is simply a hairless groundhog.

“We have seen these in Highland Park, over the years. … The most recent sighting was a few years back. Odd-looking creatures.”

This hasn’t persuaded Byrd, who says that Dimples doesn’t waddle like a groundhog or hop like a squirrel. After receiving over seventy-five suggestions from internet investigators on what the critter might be, from mutant rats to the elusive Chupacabra, she’s taken to placing a $7 bounty on the critter’s head.

The hunt for Dimples isn’t likely to end any time soon, because, just like any good creature feature, Byrd has recently discovered that the monster has a mate.

For more info, visit the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.


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