Madison police were called to the Pellitteri Waste System on Wednesday morning for a report of a possible severed "human hand."

Police say recycling crew members found the "hand" while sorting through public trash that was to be salvaged. When a police detective closely examined it, he counted six fingers and no thumb.

"Whatever it was, it had come from an animal," said Madison Police Public Information Office Joel DeSpain. "It was likely a bear."

One supervising sergeant said, “When in doubt, count the fingers, or in this case, the claws.”