Hoaxes & Rumors

Chupacabra Found?

Chupacabra Found?

A Texas couple claims to have captured a living Chupacabra, proving proof of its existence. This is the latest in a long line of sightings of the elusive creature. Today we’ll take a look at a few of the more visible Chupacabra sightings and possible explanations.

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2014 Ratcliffe Chupacabra

A couple in Ratcliffe, Texas captured what they described as a hairless, baby Chupacabra eating corn in a tree on their property. Watch a news report of the capture below.

When the initial reports surfaced, many readers believed the creature was actually a hairless raccoon. Brent Ortego, Wildlife Diversity Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, told reporters he believed it could also be a small canine with mange.

Ratcliffe resident Arlen Parma told the press that the creature’s growl was unlike any he had he seen before. “I hunted coons for 20 years with dogs and I ain’t ever seen anything that looks like that right there. A coon doesn’t make that noise, or a possum. What makes that noise? I guess a chupacabra does.”

A spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told NBC News that the creature was identified as a mangy raccoon. “The warden did contact the person who trapped the animal and told him that since it did appear to be a raccoon, he would have to release it back into the wild or euthanize it. The land owner left a message on the warden’s voice mail this morning that the animal had been euthanized.”

Cox also stated, “Our agency does not believe chupacabras exist anywhere but in the imaginations of some.”

2008 Dash Cam Video

Another video allegedly showing the mythical Chupacabra has also made the rounds on social media for the past several years. The video, shot on August 8, 2008 in Cuero, Texas was taken by a deputy sheriff patrolling fence lines in rural DeWitt county.

Watch the Cueros, Texas dash cam tape of a “Chupacabra” below:

What is Cupacabra?

The Chupacabra is a cryptid, which by definition is a plant or animal that whose existence has been suggested but is not recognized by science. Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are other examples of cryptids.

The Chupacabra is a Spanish word which breaks down as chupar (“to suck”) and cabra (“goat”) which makes the literal translation goatsucker. The term was first used in the International Society of Cryptozoology newsletter in a letter written by John E. Wall back in 1983. The first reported sightings of Chupacabras started in Puerto Rico in 1995. Subsequent sightings have been reported from as far north as Maine and as far south as Chile.

The original March 1995 attacks in Puerto Rico were on sheep, which were found with small puncture wounds to the neck and chest area and bled dry. These bloodless goats led to the legend of a mysterious bloodsucking creature.

Explanations

In the cases of “Chupacabra” specimens which have been studied, the creatures usually fit one of the following explanations.

Hybrid Canines

Unlike Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, several alleged Chupacabras have been shot and killed, allowing specimens to be studied. In some cases, the creatures were found to be a canine hybrid of Mexican Wolf on the paternal side, and a secondary canine source such as coyote on the maternal side. 

Coyote with Mange

In the dash cam video above, the most likely explanation is that of a coyote with mange. Compare a screen shot of the dash cam with a clear photo of a coyote with mange.

2008 Dash cam screen shot

2008 Dash cam screen shot

A coyote with mange. Credit: Rosiecoyote.com

A coyote with mange. Credit: Rosiecoyote.com

Hairless Raccoon

The strange creature discovered in 2014 by Texas couple was deemed to be a hairless raccoon. The fact that it was found in a tree and showed grasping abilities with its front paws were more typical of a raccoon than a canine. It also closely resembles a hairless raccoon discovered back in 2011, as seen in the comparison below.

The "Ratcliffe Chupacabra" of 2014. Credit: KAVU

The “Ratcliffe Chupacabra” of 2014. Credit: KAVU

A hairless raccoon caught in 2011. Credit: Vero News

A hairless raccoon caught in 2011. Credit: Vero News

As noted above, the local game warden identified the 2014 “Chupacabra” as a mangy raccoon.

A few weeks after this story broke, another photo of a “real Chupacabra” began circulating online. That photo, however, turned out to be a Halloween prop.

Bottom Line

Animals photographed and captured which are described as “Chupacabra” are often done so out of a lack of clear and immediate identification. Upon closer examination, these animals are typically identified as hybrid or mangy canines, or hairless raccoons.

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