For decades it has stupefied locals. One moment, they are out enjoying a walk. The next they are hurling themselves off a 50 foot bridge and plunging to their deaths on the jagged rocks in the gorge below.
Now a pastor claims to have solved the mystery as to why hundreds of dogs have reportedly committed suicide by falling off a rural bridge: the scent of small mammals.
Since the 1950s, Overtoun Bridge in Dumbarton, Scotland, has played host to a bizarre trend of cancines leaping off it. Befuddled and grieving residents of the town, which is north west of Glasgow, have blamed everything from witchcraft to paranormal activity.
However they remain united in their insistence that the historic stone structure is now known as the ‘dog suicide bridge’. There is even a sign telling walkers to keep dogs on the lead.
Yet decades after the first recorded dog death, a Texan pastor living in a nearby manor believes he has the answer to expunge such supernatural theories.
“The dogs catch the scent of mink, pine martens or some other mammal and then they will jump up on the wall of the bridge,” Bob Hill told The New York Times. “And because it’s tapered, they will just topple over.”