by Holly Fenner
Is a local Texas television station desperate for ratings or is there something behind the legend of the Chupacabra?
A recent home video of an unidentified animal has Texas residents again pointing fingers at the famed Mexican folklore creature. WOAI Channel 4 in San Antonio broadcast the sighting in June. Watch the WOAI news story. This isn't the first or even second time this suspected "blood-sucking thing from beyond" has claimed fame in the Lonestar State.
WOAI Channel 4 first broadcast the discovery of the Texas Chupacabra in July 2004. A rancher in Elmendorf shot and killed the creature after it attacked his chickens. The animal was hairless, except for a strip going down its back, with blue-grey skin, a long, rat-like tail, a serious overbite with large canine teeth, and appeared to be suffering from mange, a chronic skin disease of mammals cause by parasitic mites and characterized by skin lesions and loss of hair.
Several months later in October, another animal resembling the "Elmendorf Beast" was shot and killed and several sightings were reported in Lufkin stirring another wave of WOAI Channel 4 chupacabra broadcasts. Check out a photo of this alleged Texas Chupacabra.
Honestly, are people buying this?
Before its latest northern migration, alleged attacks of the Chupacabra, or "the Goat Sucker," first appeared in the 1960s in Mexico and Puerto Rico. An impressive series of attacks plagued the Mexican livestock in the 1990s and the Chupacabra was termed "the single most notable cryptozoological phenomenon of the past decade" by America's leading cryptozoologist Loren Coleman.
The beast preyed on livestock, usually goats and chickens, and killed the animals vampire-style, draining the blood completely through the animal's neck and leaving the meat intact. Consequently, there is some controversy surrounding the idea that the Chupacabra attacks humans. A homeowner caught a glimpse of the creature after the Chupacabra allegedly broke into the house through a window, tore apart a child's Teddy bear, and left a pile of slime and a piece of rotten meat on the windowsill. One woman claimed she was attacked by a beast with horns and wings. From the bite marks on her neck she believed the beast was a Chupacabra. Another physical attack was reported in Guanica, Puerto Rico. Osvaldo Claudio Rosado claimed he was grabbed from behind by a gorilla. He was later treated for cuts and scratches on his torso. What makes this attack so mysterious is that Puerto Rico doesn't have gorillas.
Though eyewitness accounts vary, the Mexican Chupacabra towers at a ferocious 3 to 5 feet, with bulging, red eyes, a snake-like tongue, gray skin, long, spinal quills, and a sulfur-like stench. The Chupacabra also boasts multiple talents such as the ability to fly or bound like a kangaroo. Check out a rendering of the fabled Mexican Chupacabra here.
Clearly, the descriptions for the cross-cultural bloodsucker don't add up, but who's to say that evolution doesn't work at top speed. Still, the Texas Chupacabra phenomenon has sparked an intense debate among scientists, zoologists, and residents. Though DNA tests were run on the "Elmendorf Beast", the rancher won't release the results because he was not satisfied and wants a second opinion. He's absolutely right, a folklore creature bound for infamy is much more intriguing than any sensible answer, and the six o'clock news would not get nearly as much attention.
So whether it's a dog having a bad hair day, a mangy coyote, a Muntjac deer, or the legendary Chupacabra, watch your goat's back and stay tuned to your local Texas news source.