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The Wapaloosie is a very strange cryptid that is found in 19th and 20th-century lumberjack folklore. Lumberjacks told stories about strange animals and creatures to explain natural phenomena that surrounded them and also to add a bit of mystery and intrigue to their lives in the forests of North America.

Cryptid Name:Wapaloosie
Location:North Idaho, USA
Map of where the Wapaloosie is found
Category:Folklore Cryptid
Description:A small, sausage dog-sized creature with woodpecker-like feet, spiked tail.
Size:Approximately the size of a dachshund.
Behavior/Characteristics:Climbs trees with ease, moves like a measuring worm, and has unique, spiked feet and tail.
Diet:Fungus or conchs.
Habitat/Environment:Found in damp forests, often seen on towering firs.
Evidence:Limited, anecdotal evidence primarily from lumberjack folklore and stories.
Sightings and Encounters:Occasional sightings reported by lumberjacks, though no concrete evidence exists.
Skepticism/Explanations:Regarded with skepticism; some consider it a part of local folklore rather than a real creature. No scientific basis for its existence.

What Does The Wapaloosie Look Like?

Wapaloosie Picture
Artist’s Impression of the Wapaloosie

The Wapalooise is described as a smallish creature that is about the size of an average dachshund (although it is not related to the canine family in any way).

It is said to have feet that are similar to those of a woodpecker which helps it to climb trees. It also has a tail with a spiked tip and a tail that it uses to help it ascend tall trees.

One notable feature of the Wapaloosie is the way it moves. It is said to move in a similar way as a measuring worm moves making it very distinctive and unusual.

Legends Of The Wapaloosie

You can find the story of the Wapaloosie in a book called, “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts” by William Thomas Cox.

In the damp forests of the Pacific coast and eastward as far as the St. Joe River in north Idaho, there is a quaint little beast known among loggers as the wapaloosie. It is approximately the size of a sausage dog but is not even distantly related to the canine family.

According to lumberjacks, the wapaloosie exclusively feeds on shelf fungus or conchs and has the remarkable ability to access them easily, even if they are growing on the highest point of a hundred-foot dead tree. Climbing is a pleasurable task for these animals, as they possess feet and toes resembling those of a woodpecker, enabling them to maneuver like a measuring worm. Even their tails are spiked at the tip, assisting them as they ascend the towering firs in search of food.

One of the most peculiar features of the wapaloosie was discovered only recently. A lumberjack in one of the camps on the Humptulips River in Washington shot a wapaloosie, and upon examining its velvety coat, decided to fashion an attractive and functional pair of mittens from it. The hide was thoroughly tanned, and the mittens were carefully crafted, fur side out. However, as the lumberjack attempted to work with them, he was surprised to find that the mittens immediately worked their way up and off the handle of whatever tool he tried to use, including an ax. Frustrated by this, he left the mittens on a skid road, and they were last seen making their way over logs and debris across the slashing.

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods
Wapaloosie Sketch
Sketch of a Wapaloosie
Source: Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

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