Think back to the summer of 2008, when city-dwellers and scientists were all vexed and perplexed by the hook-nosed carcass stinking up the craggy shores of Long Island. Later dubbed the Montauk Monster, the apocryphal stories emerged about secret nuclear animal test centers and, for a brief instant, New York appeared to have its next biggest tourist attraction since Stomp! [UPDATE: New speculation received in the last hour tells us this is no goddamn pig.]

In fact, it was probably just a weird diseased coyote, but it most definitely was not a wayward gargoyle or a demon hawk-dog. It only existed in our minds, anyway, so the genus and species were irrelevant as long as we were told that the strange dead creature did not spawn vengeful babies waiting to bite us as we sat on the toilet.

Yesterday, Gothamist ran the photo captured by a woman named Denise Ginley along the East River, and hinted that another summer of could-be-a-monster mayhem might be upon us. It was not. The New York City Parks Department Mulder-and-Scully'd this mystery early, confirming today that the pink thing with the squiggly tale and snout was just a pig, only a pig, and not even a rabid one at that. "It was a pig leftover from a cookout," a Parks rep told Animal New York, most likely in the exasperated tone of an underpaid city official forced to make a statement about picnic litter. Summer's not over yet, monster hunters. Keep on searching.

Animal New York. Photo: Denise Ginley/Flickr.