CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A mysterious and vicious animal left a 77-year-old North Carolina teacher in critical condition in the small Beaufort County, N.C., town of Pantego, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators are still trying to determine what kind of animal was involved in the attack.

Beaufort County is home to bear, alligator and coyotes, but “preliminary DNA testing facilitated by NC Wildlife Biologist has eliminated any wild animals indigenous to the area,” said a statement issued by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim was identified as Brenda Hamilton, and she is in critical condition at Vidant Pitt Hospital, the sheriff’s office said.

A 911 call at 5:47 a.m. Friday reported someone had been attacked by an animal on Indian Run Road in Pantego, the sheriff’s office said. The town of about 200 people is not far from the Pamlico Sound in coastal North Carolina.

“Beaufort County EMS and Paramedics arrived to find 77-year-old Brenda Hamilton of Pantego suffering from severe injuries as a result of the attack,” said a sheriff’s office statement.

Biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have joined the investigation, officials said.

“Beaufort County Sheriff’s Investigators are continuing to investigate to determine which, if any domestic canines in the area may have attacked Hamilton,” the statement said.

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