Wild Animals/identity scat

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Question
I have been finding animal scat close by my home that I can't identify.  It is green in color (almost a lime green) and is in the form of a soft circular pile, about 3 inches across.  It looks almost smooth like a small pile of fresh cement.  I live in the country in the west portion of Oregon.  Can you help.

Answer
Dear Steven

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thnk the authors of the websites I used.

http://icwdm.org/inspection/scat1.asp gives a guide to different scat. The scat nearest the one you saw is a 'plop' - not a very technical name, but quite descriptive. I don't think it was produced by a cow, bear or buffalo (I'm quite sure you'd notice one of these near your home and the dropipngs of them would be bigger. The site says that geese often have green droppings, but these tend to be tubular.

I think the animal that produced the scat had a physiological problem, probably a diseased liver (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_dog's_feces_green), as this would explain the green colour and and diarrhoea or anu upset stomach (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_there_any_animals_that_have_green_feces) would explain the shape. This would mean that both the shape and colour of the scat would be unusual for the species and it would be very difficult to determine the animal that made the scat. Please note that human droppings also vary greatly in colour, size and shape, so it shouldn't be surprising that the droppings of other animals can vary.  

I'm sorry I couldn't make an identification for you, but it can be difficult to identify the scat of healthy animals, but is almost impossible for animals with liver disease, diarrhoea or similar conditions.

All the best

Jonathan  

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Jonathan Wright

Expertise

I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.

Experience

I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

Organizations
WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Publications
Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

Education/Credentials
BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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