|Other Name/s||goat sucker|
|Location||Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, United States,|
The chupacabra is a blood-sucking creature of modern legend, with stories of sightings originating in Puerto Rico.
Description of Chupacabra
The chupacabra is, as legend would have it, a 4-to-5-feet tall, spiky-backed creature with an oblong skull. The word “chupacabra” translates, somewhat underwhelmingly, as “goat sucker”.
The name, however, is apt, as the chupacabra is meant to suck its victims’ blood.
However, the above description does not match up with the purported chupacabra bodies that have been found over the years. These carcasses simply resemble dogs with long snouts and sharp teeth.
In fact, it is quite difficult to pin down the exact physical characteristics of the chupacabra, as accounts of sightings have thrown up all sorts of variations.
The fairly consistent features include egg-sized eyes which are red or orange, big fangs, sharp claws on the hands and feet, spikes on the back, three-toed hind feet, and kangaroo-like hind legs for jumping. The creature is generally presented as a biped.
Witnesses have mentioned these legendary creatures have the ability to change their skin color to match their environment, and the appearance of the skin varies from account to account. Some people say it is smooth and hairless, while others say it is rough or scaly, and hairy.
The beasts are sometimes reported as having feathers or even wings. Even without wings, a chupacabra is alleged to be able to leap over a building.
It is possible that group hysteria, the influence of horror movies, and old-fashioned superstition combined to influence the eyewitness accounts. A livestock predator was around at the time, which, when DNA was examined, turned out to be some kind of coyote.
Perhaps these factors, combined with the news reports at the time, merged to create a vicious monster.
Regardless, what is clear is that the chupacabra, whatever it may be, leaves a bloody trail of destruction in its wake.
Chupacabras are known to attack farm animals including sheep, goats, dogs and cats, plus anything else it can hunt down.
As the legend grew, chupacabras being to appear in Spanish popular culture, appearing in the storylines of novels written by Rudolfo Anaya, and in various horror films.
When the legend spread to the rest of the world, other sightings began to flood in. These reports related tales of kangaroo-like beasts and hairy humanoids of various kinds, but some did have similarities to the original Puerto Rican legend.
Researchers have uncovered chupacabra stories from as far back as 1974. The Taino Indians have their own folkore about a similar creature – they call it the maboya.
The first official sightings of what were thought to be chupacabras were made in Puerto Rico in 1995. These sightings continued until 1999, when they appeared to stop just as quickly as they had started.
Numerous reports were filed of an unknown creature decimating local wildlife on farms, leaving bloody carcasses behind.
As time went on, people in other countries began to come forward with stories of what they thought were chupacabras.
One such story comes from Dr. Phyllis Canion, who found what she believes may be a chupacabra outside her ranch in Texas. The animal had been hit by a passing vehicle.
Being unable to identify the animal, Dr. Canion arranged for DNA tests to be carried out. The tests ruled out any kind of domestic dog. The DNA results are consistent with a coyote, but further tests were needed to identify the rest of the DNA.
Eventually, the animal was identified as being half coyote and half Mexican wolf, although oddities such as the blue eyes, elephant-like gray skin, and unusual gait remain unexplained.
A Saudi Arabian sheep herder has a particularly chilling tale of what he thinks were chupacabras. He saw three figures walking in the desert. As he got closer to them, he realised they looked like they were fighting.
He was about to offer his assistance when he realized the figures were not human. Drawing his gun in a panic, he shot one of the creatures and killed it. He says the other two creatures flew away.
The man was so traumatized by his experience that he admitted himself to the local hospital, where the staff say he was hysterical and in shock.
A photograph was taken of a mysterious creature in New Jersey in 2013. It was pictured walking along the top of a wooden fence, and no one has been able to positively identify it. Could this be a chupacabra, or perhaps the legendary Jersey Devil?
latimes.com, “The Siren’s Call: A beastly menagerie”, accessed August 11 2017.
newanimal.org, “The Cryptid Zoo: Chupacabra”, accessed August 11 2017.
paranormal.lovetoknow.com, “Chupacabra Sightings”, accessed August 11 2017.