by Shelly Gatto.

Folklore is an important part of every culture. However, when pieces of those old stories begin to prove true, it raises a number of questions.  The Chupacabra, which literally translates to “goat sucker,” is a popular legend in North and South Americas. Initially reported in Mexico, witnesses claim the creature actually exists.
What makes this legend unique is that since the early 1990s, people have been reporting sightings of real, live Chupacabras. From Maine to Chile, and even Russia, witnesses have claimed this terrifying beast has been seen and even killed. More recently, news reports have covered stories of a strange canine-esque beast that closely resembles many Chupacabra descriptions. Perhaps in this case, legend and reality have shaken hands to create something completely unbelievable.


·    Reports of slaughtered livestock were made in the small Puerto Rican town of Moca. Originally, the beast responsible was given the title “El Vampiro de Moca” or the Vampire of Moca. In each case, three circular incisions were found on the corpses and the blood had been completely drained.
·    Eight sheep were found dead after an attack reported in March. Each corpse bore the trademark trio of puncture wounds on the chest and each was devoid of blood.
·    A San Antonio rancher killed what he believed to be a dog that has been attacking livestock. The creature was hairless and later determined to be a coyote diagnosed with severe mange.
·    Since March 2005 until April 2006, reports were made in central Russia of a beast very similar to the Chupacabra. The creature killed animals and sucked out the blood. In one case, more than 30 turkeys were discovered killed and drained of their blood over a single night. Other reports told of as many as 30 sheep found in a similar state.
·    An “evil looking” rodent-creature with long fangs was discovered by Michelle O’Donnell in August. The beast has been struck by a vehicle and most of the carcass had been destroyed by scavengers.  Photos were taken although the various angles produced different results. In some photos the creature resembled a Chow Chow or Akita dog, in others it looked nothing like any breed of canine.
·    Corresponding with O’Donnell’s discovery, the residents of Maine have made reports of strange creatures and many dog mauling incidents in past years.
·    Over 300 dead sheep were discovered in Boyaca, Columbia during May.
·    Phylis Canion discovered three dead beasts in the Cuero, Texas area during August. She and neighbors took photographs and even preserved a head of one in Canion’s freezer before turning it over to authorities to perform a DNA analysis. Prior to that time, Canion claimed to total of almost 30 of her chickens had been killed in past years, possibly by the beasts. The DNA was later confirmed to be that of a coyote, although the physical traits of the animal did not resemble any known species of coyote.
·    The Chupacabra was reported in the Philippines on January 11th.  It is believed that the beast slaughtered eight chickens.
·    An unidentifiable creature was filmed by Brandon Riedle, a DeWitt county deputy.  The film, taken close to Cuero, Texas, produced a strange beast similar to a coyote with a longer muzzle, shorter front legs and longer hind legs.
·    A report was aired on CNN in September showing footage of an unidentified carcass. It was also noted that the creature was taken to a Blanco, Texas taxidermist whose cousin discovered it. Cause of death was rat poison, which had been left in the barn where the body was found. The taxidermist commented that the creature appeared to be some genetically mutated coyote. The body was sold to the Lost World Museum, who planned to display it after performing tests with an unidentified university.


The Final Sighting
While other crytpid sightings seem fleeting, the Chupacabra has a long recorded history, especially in the last decade. To say there was a final sighting might be a bit presumptuous. Although no further discoveries have been noted, it seems it is only a matter of time before another appears, or before something is discovered that explains the origins of these strange creatures.


Possible Explanations
A number of explanations have circulated, reappearing with each new discovery. Overall, most insist the recent Chupacabra sightings are actually canines or coyotes with mange. Still, this does not explain the genetic anomalies which have been proven through video footage and the bodies that have been found. To say that the mythical Chupacabra exists might sound too fantastic to be true. However, what about the third explanation? Is someone experimenting on coyotes and various dog breeds to produce a Chupacabra-like, manmade beast? Perhaps in time, the truth will come to light.


A Final Word on the Chupacabra
Although it may sound like the stuff of nightmares, no one can deny something has been witnessed by regular people all over the world. Whether it is truly a natural cryptid or a manmade monster remains to be seen. Recent sightings have been hard to dismiss, especially with the introduction of video evidence.  Perhaps all along, the reports held some truth. Still, the unanswered question remains: what is the Chupacabra and how did it come to be?

Watch this feature video about the chupacabra

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