The dog, aptly named Stuckie, was discovered in 1980 when loggers for the Kraft Corporation cut the oak into logs.
They found the mummified hunting dog lodged in a hollow stretch near the top of the tree – and he is now the main attraction atForest World, a tree museum in Waycross, Georgia.
Stuckie’s body was mummified instead of decomposing because the updraft of air in the hollow tree trunk carried his scent away from insects.
Rather than send the section of the tree on to the sawmill, the loggers donated it to Forest World. The dog was named Stuckie following a 2002 naming contest.
Experts believe that he had probably chased after some small game, wedging himself into the hollow tree and climbing a whopping 28 feet up before becoming trapped.
How the hound became mummified inside the tree instead of rotting is a much more interesting question, though.
According to a press release from the museum, a chimney effect occurred in the hollow tree, resulting in an upward draft of air.
This caused the scent of the dead animal to be carried away, which otherwise would have attracted insects and other organisms that feed on dead animals.
In addition the hollow tree would also have provided relatively dry conditions, while the tannic acid of the oak would have helped to harden the animal’s skin.