The “chupacabra” (goat-sucker) was first spotted in Puerto Rico, in the 1970s. Sightings have also been made in Florida and Mexico; from the 1990s, chupacabra sightings have occurred in Texas. The animal supposedly sucks the blood of other animals; the physical descriptions vary. Some news reports treat the story as science fiction, but the animals do exist. Some people think the “chupacabra” is a type of a dog or a jackrabbit.
Chupacabra (also chupacabras /t?upa’kab?as/, from Spanish chupar: to suck, cabra: goat; goats sucker) is a cryptid said to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated particularly with Puerto Rico (where it was 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 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.
The 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 Creature. It was later determined to be 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.”
The most common description of Chupacabra is that it look like a Mexican Hairless, a breed of dog that is from central America and common to the area that the Chupacabra is said to roam. The Chupacabra appears to have leathery, scaly, or reptile like 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.
Somehow, the term “Chupacabra” has become applied to “extraterrestial” beings. (see illustration). The origin of this is unknown and makes little sense, given that no one who has reported a chupabracra sighting has claimed an extraterrestial origin for the animal. The confusion most likely occurred because some automatically concluded that something odd must be extraterrestial.
25 March 1996, Newsweek, “Bloodsucker?” by Carla Koehl, pg. 6:
IT STRUCK IN PUERTO RICO last year, killing animals in the dead of night, draining their blood and spreading panic through the island. In honor of its first victims, the unseen monster was dubbed chupacabras—the goatsucker. Now the legendary monster has hit Miami, blamed for killing two goats and 27 chickens in a recent raid. Reports describe the killer as “nonhumanoid” with “long claws and long fangs.” A zoologist who visited the massacre site says the “monster” was a dog. But that’s not likely to calm the frenzy.
2 June 1996, New York Times, “In the Tradition of Bigfoot and Elvis, the Goatsucker” by Julia Preston, pg. E2:
The goatsucker (or chupacabras, in Spanish) first appeared late last year in Puerto Rico, where it was said to have laid waste to the livestock of dozens of farmers. It made a pass through south Florida, preying mainly on chickens and ducks and causing hysteria in Hispanic communities.
But in Mexico the vampire has taken on a new and more hideous form, and the way it is being depicted may say a lot more about Mexico than about the likelihood that the land is being ravaged by something supernatural. The Puerto Rican goatsucker was a bristly, bulge-eyed rat with the hind legs of a kangaroo, capable of escaping after its crimes in high-speed sprints. In Mexico the creature spouted claws and black membranous wings. It descends at night, from the sky.
9 June 1996, Houston Chronicle, Business section, pg. 1:
The monstrously famous Chupacabra (Spanish for goatsucker) is scaring up opportunities for fun and profit. The first sighting of the fiendish creature came in Puerto Rico two years ago. It reportedly appeared there as a 5-foot, red-eyed, fanged animal with spinal quills that doubled as wings, chasing down livestock and pets to suck out their blood. Since then, it’s been sighted more often than Elvis in Florida, South Texas and Mexico. Now, the spoofed monster is turning up on the Internet. The Chupacabra Home Page (http://www.princeton.edu/~accion/chupa.html) put up by a Princeton University student, claims 11,614 visitors at the site. Tejano station KQQK-FM (106) in Houston is coming up with its own Tejano version of a Chupacabra song, because two songs produced in Mexico to a salsa-meringue rhythm don’t fit its format.
by Heather Shades, Wesley Treat, and Rob Riggs
New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
Chupacabra is Spanish for “goat sucker.” These creatures were first seen in Puerto Rico, and sightings spread from there to Mexico and parts of Latin America. Unlike Bigfoot sightings, which have been reported for more than a hundred years, chupacabra sightings go back only as far as the 1950s.
According to eyewitness accounts, the chupacabra is about four feet tall and weighs up to about seventy pounds, with gray skin and spikes or perhaps hair running down its spine, short arms with claws, and rear legs like those of a kangaroo.
by Charlie Carlson
New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
El Chupcabra Retires to South Florida
This bizarre creature is an import to Florida in the past decade. The chupacabra actually made its debut on the world’s weird list in 1975, after a series of farm-animal killing in Puerto Rico. Rural villagers came forth with claims that an unidentified creature was killingtheir animals in the early morning hours by biting their necks. It left strange puncturelike wounds on its victims that were inconsistent with any known species. People reported hearing screeching noises and flapping sounds as if made by the wings of a large bird. Eyewitnesses who claimed they had actually seen the creature generally described it as about three or four feet tall, gray in color, with an oversized head, big oval eyes, and a mouth full of teeth. Another characteristic common in chupacabra reports is the sulfuric smell emitted by the creature.
19 February 2006, Brownsville (TX) Herald, pg. ?:
Local artists sees Chupacabra as a metaphor for Mexican-Americans
by Emma Perez-Trevino
Feb. 19—In folklore, the Chupacabra is known as a grotesque creature of the night that sucks the blood from goats and other small prey.
In Carlos G. Gomez’s mind, the Chupacabra is a lonely creature with human characteristics; a being shaped by environment and society.
“The Chupacabra Chronicles: Exposed,” is Gomez’s most recent collection of original artwork. The artist and University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College professor created 27 paintings on canvas and several works on paper.
Gomez’s paints white, red, green and dark-colored Chupacabras. There are twin Chupacabras, the Wanderer, the Thinker, the Juan Diego Chupacabra and the Chupacabra Van Gogh to name a few.
“They come in all sizes and colors. They are just not understood,” Gomez said.
24 July 2007, Victoria (TX) Advocate, “It’s a Giant Jackrabbit” (editorial):
Jul. 24—The Chupacabra, abominable snowman or Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are famous mythical creatures. None has been proven to really exist. But the animal found in DeWitt County, dubbed a coyote with mange, is certainly real, whatever it is. A lot of speculation has been offered as to what it is.
The strange animal is likened to the Chupacabra, a mythical beast, with origins in Mexico that leaves its victims bloodless. Seems this local creature does the same thing to chickens and sheep. Of course, the evidence is circumstantial for this activity.
From the photograph of the beast online at http://www.thevictoriaadvocate.com, it looks like a cross between a greyhound and a ... what?
Coyotes’ legs aren’t that short in the front. These wild dogs seem to have a fairly even look in a standing position. In fact most dogs, are pretty level: front legs about the same length as the back legs.
One opinion we’ve heard is that the animal is a pig crossed with a coyote. Also, we heard other weird combinations but won’t mention them here.
Maybe Texas A&M, which got a sample of the DNA, can determine what the animal really is. And National Geographic also has a hand in identifying the animal.
In the meantime, we speculate that the animal is the famous mythical beast most Texans are familiar with, a beast that many have seen on postcards that depict the species saddled by cowboys: the ever-famous giant species of Texas Jack Rabbit (with mange), not to be confused with that other mythical jackalope, which has horns.
Has a Mythical Beast Turned Up in Texas?
Posted: 2007-09-01 01:09:48
Filed Under: Weird News
CUERO, Texas (Sept. 1) - Phylis Canion lived in Africa for four years. She’s been a hunter all her life and has the mounted heads of a zebra and other exotic animals in her house to prove it.
Chupacabra means “goat sucker” in Spanish, and it is said to have originated in Latin America, specifically Puerto Rico and Mexico.
The “chupacabras” could have all been part of a mutated litter of dogs, or they may be a new kind of mutt, he said.
As for the bloodsucking, Schaar said that this particular canine may simply have a preference for blood, letting its prey bleed out and licking it up.
Chupacabra or not, the discovery has spawned a local and international craze. Canion has started selling T-shirts that read: “2007, The Summer of the Chupacabra, Cuero, Texas,” accompanied by a caricature of the creature. The $5 shirts have gone all over the world, including Japan, Australia and Brunei. Schaar also said he has one.
“If everyone has a fun time with it, we’ll keep doing it,” she said. “It’s good for Cuero.”