By David Schwartz
PHOENIX (Reuters) - A photo posted on Facebook depicting what Arizona officials said may have been a family of sasquatches, attracting hundreds of comments from skeptics and believers alike, was just a joke, authorities said on Monday.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said there was no mystery about the image of several dark objects taken by a state traffic camera and posted on New Year's Day for all to spin theories about.
"We were just having a little fun," department spokesman Tim Tait said. "People don't expect government to have a sense of humor, and we definitely have one."
Officials put the prank into motion with a post that wondered aloud what the objects were off the side of the road amid the snowy landscape.
"We might have spotted a family of sasquatches on SR 260 near Heber this afternoon. What do you think?" the entry stated.
As of late on Monday, the post drew more than 2,100 likes and was shared by more than 3,000 people. About 750 people chose to offer comments, ranging from saying they always knew the mysterious beasts existed to those who welcomed the joke.
"[They're] comin back from their new years Cave party... Probably all hung over," Facebook user Shawn Littlebear quipped.
As for future hoaxes from the department, Tait was tight-lipped.
"You just never know," he said.
(Editing by Curtis Skinner and Jeremy Laurence)