Officials say civets, not bloodsucking flying head monster, are killing livestock in Sumatra village

A civet and a palasik. Which is more terrifying?
A civet and a palasik. Which is more terrifying?

There is always a rational explanation for mysterious events, but the horror movie junkie in us was hoping that there was truth to the rumor that a terrifying flying head monster was behind the deaths of hundreds of farm animals in a Sumatra village.

Related — ‘Bloodsucking, flying head creature’ killing livestock in Sumatra village, police investigating

Alas, this is reality, where the seemingly mysterious occurrence has been explained using cold science and logic.

The North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) says that it has determined a possible cause of death for the hundreds of pigs, ducks, and chickens that were recently killed in North Tapanuli regency’s Pohan Toga village.

“Based on our investigation and the testimonies of locals, we strongly suspect that [the livestock was killed by] an animal of the civet family,” BKSDA official Teguh Setiawan said yesterday.

Civet is a mostly nocturnal and omnivorous mammal that resembles the adorable ferret at first glance. You might know it as the creature that eats and digests coffee cherries, with the beans harvested from its fecal matter processed into Indonesia’s world famous kopi luwak.

But Teguh said the livestock killer in Pohan Toga might be a larger, more terrifying species of civet.

“Some species are larger than 1 meter in length […] Don’t assume that it’s a small civet, some are large,” he said.

BKSDA officials are still hunting the elusive civet.

Previously, Pohan Toga residents believed that a bloodsucking palasik, which, according to local folklore, is a flying creature consisting of a head with its spine and internal organs hanging underneath, came out at night to feast on their livestock.

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