A strange-looking animal has been sighted in Nowa Huta, and now residents of Krakow’s northeastern district are trying to figure out what it is.
The creature has been photographed by locals around the Czyżyny area. Many observers, including scientists consulted by Polish news portal Onet, speculate that it is probably a fox suffering from scabies, an irritating skin condition caused by mites. Foxes are not uncommon in Polish wilderness and can occasionally be seen in the fields and trees of Nowa Huta.
However, others wonder if it could be a golden jackal. These predatory mammals are normally found in southeastern Europe and Asia, although a handful have been spotted in Poland in recent years.
Along with speculation about the animal’s identity and discussion of its sightings, it has sparked a discussion on the relationship between Poles, their urban spaces, and the natural environment. Ania G., in a Nowa Huta Facebook group, commented, “This is a living creature that needs our help because the human race has expanded so much into territory that belongs to others.”
This also comes at a time when the government has made controversial moves to remove limitations on logging, including in the primeval Białowieża Forest in northeastern Poland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you spot the mysterious creature, we welcome your photos, but experts advise against approaching it or trying to feed it. Instead, if you want to help, you can report it to the Krakow City Guard, whose responsibility it is to care for such animals that wander into human habitations.