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Chupacabra (also chupacabras /tʃupa'kabɾas/, from Spanish chupar: to suck, cabra: goat; goats sucker) is a cryptid said to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated with the ancient myth of the chimera or griffin, and more recently with alleged sightings of an unknown animal in Puerto Rico (where these sightings were first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities. The name translates literally from the Spanish as "goat sucker." It comes from the creature's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed as early as 1990 in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile. Mainstream scientists and experts generally hypothesize that the chupacabra is an ordinary, though perhaps unknown, species of canid, a legendary creature, or a type of urban legend. It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail.
Though the oral and literary tradition of chimera-like creatures stretches far back into both European and Amerindian culture, the modern legend of cipi chupacabra began approximately in 1987, when Puerto Rican newspapers El Vocero and El Nuevo Dia began reporting the killings of many different types of animals, such as birds, horses, and, as its name implies, goats. It is predated by El Vampiro de Moca (The Vampire of Moca), a creature blamed for similar killings that occurred in the small town of Moca in the 1970s. While at first it was suspected that the killings were done randomly by some members of a Satanic cult, eventually these killings spread around the island, and many farms reported loss of animal life. The killings had one pattern in common: each of the animals had their bodies bled dry through a series of small circular incisions. Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur Silverio Pérez is credited with coining the term "chupacabras" soon after the first incidents were reported in the press. Shortly after the deaths in Puerto Rico, other animal deaths were reported in other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Brazil, the United States and Mexico.
In July 2004, a rancher near San Antonio killed a hairless dog-like creature, which was attacking his livestock. This creature is now known as the Elmendorf Beast. It was later determined by DNA assay conducted at UC Davis to be a coyote, and identified by Texas zoologist as a coyote with demodectic or sarcoptic mange. In October 2004, two animals said to resemble the Elmendorf Creature were supposedly observed in the same area. The first was dead, and a local zoologist who was called to identify the animal noticed the second while she was traveling to the location where the first was found. Specimens of the dead animals were studied by biologists in Texas, who found that the creatures were coyotes suffering from very severe cases of mange. In Coleman, Texas, a farmer named Reggie Lagow caught an animal in a trap he set up after the deaths of a number of his chickens and turkeys. The supposed animal was described as a mix between a hairless dog, a rat and a kangaroo. The animal was provided to Texas Parks and Wildlife in order to determine what species it belonged to, but Lagow reported in a September 17th, 2006, phone interview with John Adolfi, founder of the Lost World Museum, that the "critter was caught on a Tuesday and thrown out in Thursday's trash."
In April of 2006, MosNews reported that the chupacabra was spotted in Russia for the first time. Reports from Central Russia beginning in March 2005 tell of a beast that kills animals and sucks out their blood. Thirty-two turkeys were killed and drained overnight. Reports later came from neighboring villages when 30 sheep were killed and had their blood drained. Finally eyewitnesses were able to describe the chupacabra. In May of 2006, experts were determined to track the animal down.
In mid-August 2006 Michelle O'Donnell of Turner, Maine, described an "evil looking" rodent-like creature with fangs that had been found dead alongside a road. The mystery beast was apparently struck by a car, and was otherwise unidentifiable. Photographs were taken and witness reports seem to be in relative agreement that the creature was canine in appearance, but unlike any dog or wolf in the area. The carcass was picked clean by vultures before experts could examine it. For years, residents of Maine have reported a mysterious creature and a string of dog maulings.
In May 2007, a series of reports on national Colombia news reported more than 300 dead sheep in the region of Boyaca, and the capture of a possible specimen to be analysed by zoologists at Universidad Nacional of Colombia.
In August 2007, Phylis Canion claimed to have found three of the animals on ranches in Cuero, Texas. She and her neighbors purported to have discovered three strange animal corpses outside Canion's property in Cuero, Texas; she took photographs of the corpses and preserved the head of one in her freezer before turning it over for DNA analysis. Canion reported that nearly 30 chickens on her farm had been exsanguinated over a period of years, a factor which led to her connection of the corpses with the chupacabra of legend. The animal in Canion's pictures, as well as her freezer, was identified as a grey fox suffering from an extreme case of mange by state mammaligist John Young. Results of the DNA tests are pending
The most common description of Chupacabra is a lizard-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. This form stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion to a kangaroo. In at least one sighting, the creature hopped 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue protruding from it, large fangs, and to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave a sulfuric stench behind. When it screeches, some reports note that the chupacabra's eyes glow an unusual red, then give the witnesses nausea. For some witnesses, it was seen with bat-like wings.
Another description of Chupacabra, although not as common, is described as a strange breed of wild dog. This form is mostly hairless, has a pronounced spinal ridge, unusually pronounced eye sockets, fangs, and claws. It is claimed that this breed might be an example of a dog-like reptile. The corpse of an animal found in Leon, Nicaragua, and forensically analyzed at UNAN-Leon is claimed as a specimen of this genus. Pathologists at the University found that it was an unusual looking dog-like creature of a unknown species. Unlike conventional predators, the chupacabra is said to drain all of the animal's blood (and sometimes organs) through a single hole or two holes.
When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey
Sep/20/2007, 4:11 pm
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