“Stuckie” The Mummified Dog Who Has Been Stuck In A Tree

By: Riley Brown | Last updated: Jun 03, 2022

The Story of Stuckie the Mummified Dog

During the early 1980s, a team of loggers made a strange discovery. Inside the hollow trunk of a tree, they found the mummified remains of a dog. While it had clearly been there a long time, the remains were perfectly preserved.

Based on appearances, it seemed that the dog had gotten stuck inside the tree. His teeth were bared, and according to the position of its claws, it had tried his best to escape the tree. Unfortunately, it never got out, and remains stuck in the tree truck until this day.

How Stuckie Got Stuck Inside a Tree

The mummified dog was inspected by experts, who determined that it had likely gotten stuck in the tree more than 20 years ago. They believed that the dog entered the tree while chasing a small animal, like a squirrel.

Advertisement

As the dog climbed upwards, the tree became more narrow. Eventually, it became wedged in the tree, unable to climb up or down. While the dog did its best to escape, it passed away inside the tree, where it remained for decades.

Why Did Stuckie Become a Mummy?

The same tree that had trapped the dog helped to protect it from decay. Since the air inside the tree was so dry, all moisture was removed from the carcass. The location of the dog’s carcass kept it safe from scavengers.

Advertisement

Newsweek

While that normally wouldn’t have been enough to turn a dog into a mummy, the tree also happened to be a chestnut oak. Chestnut oaks naturally produce tannins, which taxidermists use to keep animals from decaying. Tannins that seeped out of the tree protected the carcass from decay.

How Stuckie Met His Strange Fate

When Stuckie’s remains were found, the dog was about 28 feet above the ground. This makes this discovery even stranger. Experts believe that the dog was able to enter the tree through a hole in the roots.

Advertisement

The dog continued to climb higher and higher, even as the inside of the tree became narrowed. While it’s impossible to say exactly what breed of dog Stuckie was, it’s believed that he was some sort of hunting dog, such as a hound dog.

Stuckie and His New Home

After the loggers reported the discovery, the dog’s remains were brought to Southern Forest World Museum in Waycross, GA, which is where they remain to this day. The museum is also where the dog was eventually given the nickname “Stuckie.”

Advertisement

While it was initially displayed as a mummified dog, Forest World Magazine held a naming contest in 2002. The name “Stuckie,” which described how the dog met its fate, was the winner. Other names suggested in the contest include “Chipper” and “Dogwood.”

Seeing Stuckie On Display

The hollow of the tree is sealed off with a glass door that keeps visitors from touching or damaging the mummified dog. That door is designed to be opened, which allows tour guides to give visitors a closer look during presentations.

Advertisement

Since the dog is completely mummified, it doesn’t have any sort of unpleasant odor. It’s possible to glimpse the dog from both the front and the back. Next to the tree trunk is a plaque that describes how Stuckie met his fate.

Advertisement

A Mummified Dog, Not a Petrified One

At the museum, Stuckie is sometimes referred to as a “petrified” dog. However, Stuckie isn’t actually petrified at all. When an animal is petrified, its original tissues are replaced by minerals.

Advertisement

Stuckie is a mummy, which means some of its original tissue is still present. Many mummies are created through artificial means, but Stuckie became a mummy thanks to a series of strange, accidental circumstances. It’s extremely rare to find naturally mummified creatures in the wild, which is what makes Stuckie so special.

Advertisement

Other Mummified Dogs

While Stuckie is very unusual, he isn’t the only mummified dog out there. In Ancient Egypt, the pets of a Pharaoh were sometimes mummified and buried alongside their owner. Some of these mummified remains can still be seen today.

Advertisement

Image by © Sandro Vannini/CORBIS

Stuckie has been preserved for several decades, but these ancient mummies have been around for thousands of years. Like Stuckie, some of these mummies are now displayed at museums. By comparing Stuckie to these dogs, you can see some of the differences between artificial and natural mummification.

Advertisement

The Lasting Legacy of Stuckie the Mummified Dog

It’s hard not to feel sorry for Stuckie when you think about him being trapped in that tree. At the same time, the preserved dog is an incredible sight. Because the carcass was completely dehydrated, even the dog’s teeth and claws are in excellent condition.

Advertisement

AGWeb

What’s even more amazing is that Stuckie’s carcass wasn’t damaged in any way when the tree he was in was cut down. According to one of the loggers at the scene, the tree was cut into sections when it was chopped down. Only luck kept Stuckie in perfect shape.

Advertisement

An Incredible Natural Phenomenon

A natural mummy is a rare discovery, and a specimen like Stuckie is even more unusual. Although Stuckie passed away long ago, the dog is still viewed every day. Since the carcass is so well preserved, people can view it for decades to come.

Advertisement

Stuckie’s story is sad, but it’s also a testament to the power of nature. When the dog was accidentally trapped inside a tree, it created the perfect conditions for mummification. Whether you see it in pictures or in person, it’s hard not to be awed by Stuckie.

Advertisement