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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Sightings of Chupacabras

El Chupacabras was preceded by a Puerto Rican monster known as the Moca Vampire, which had been reported in conjunction with a rash of UFO sightings in 1975. A number of farmers discovered animals massacred after strange lights appeared in the sky. Investigators examining the slain animals, which included ducks, goats, geese and cows, noted with astonishment that they had been completely drained of blood with almost surgical precision. The Moca Vampire was apparently never sighted firsthand, but it was generally admitted that illegaly-imported crocodiles were responsible for the killings.

In March 1995, the Puerto Rican towns of Orocovis and Morovis began to be plagued by some force that was mysteriously murdering their animals. The carcasses of goats, chickens and other small farm animals were reported to be thoroughly exsanguinated, with the blood often said to have been drained out through a single neat puncture wound.

Sightings and slain livestock continued to be reported in various parts of Puerto Rico throughout the fall of 1995. The Goatsucker allegedly killed 11 goats in the town of San German, and on one occasion a group of townspeople said they chased the creature away as it was attempting to kill three roosters.

In Guanica, 44-year-old Osvaldo Claudio Rosado claimed to have been grabbed from behind by a gorilla. Puerto Rico has no gorillas. After fighting off the creature, Rosado needed treatment for scratches and cuts around his torso. In Canovanas, seemingly an epicenter of Chupacabras activity with more than 150 animal slayings reported in 1995.

Several witnesses have seen it in broad daylight. One such occasion was witnessed by Madeline Tolentino and her neighbours in the Campo Rico community (municipality of Canovanas). They all observed it walking down a street at 3.00 pm in the afternoon. As they approached it, the creature ran away, 'at a fantastic speed' and escaped. Mayor Jose "Chemo" Soto raised an army of volunteers and personally hunted every week for Chupa during nearly a year, armed with rifles and a caged goat. He failed to catch it but was, however, re-elected. 

Since then, the Chupacabras has been blamed in the deaths of over 2000 animals ranging from other livestock to household pets. Puerto Rico is no longer the exclusive playground of the creature. Through the Spanish-speaking media, the story travelled through Mexico and the United States, leading to sightings of the beast in several cities including Miami, New York, San Antonio, Cambridge, and San Francisco. 

69 chickens, goats and ducks were found dead on a Florida lawn, again with their blood drained. Michigan and Oregon suffered subsequent attacks. A rash of bloodsuckings in Mexico created a minor media sensation by late 1996. In October of 1999, Brazil's Corriero Braziliense newspaper reported nine goats and three sheep dead with single wounds on the neck. Other Brazilian eyewitnesses claimed to have seen an animal that fly or leap with powerful, monkey-like hind legs, attacking animals and humans both.

In April of 2000, farmers in Calamain, a mining town in the heart of Chile's harsh northern desert, awoke to find their goats and sheep dead in their pens. An unidentified predator had mutilated the animals' necks and sucked their blood. Calama officials quickly called in the National Guard. Hundreds of armed soldiers undertook a massive search of the area, hunting the Chupacabra. Night patrols, however, found nothing; neither the beast, nor the puma skeptics believed was the real killer. By late June, an official Chilean government statement had blamed the attacks on wild dogs.

In July 2004, a rancher near San Antonio, Texas, killed a hairless dog-like creature, which was attacking his livestock. This animal, initially given the name the Elmendorf Beast, was later determined by DNA assay conducted at University of California, Davis to be a coyote with demodectic or sarcoptic mange.

In October 2004, two more carcasses were found in the same area. Biologists in Texas examined samples from the two carcasses and determined they were also 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 animal was described as resembling a mix of hairless dog, rat, and kangaroo. Lagow provided the animal to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials for identification, but Lagow reported in a September 17, 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."

In April 2006, MosNews reported that the chupacabra was spotted in Russia for the first time. Reports from Central Russia beginning in March 2005 tell of a beast that kills animals and sucks out their blood. Thirty-two turkeys were killed and drained overnight. Reports later came from neighboring villages when 30 sheep were killed and had their blood drained. Finally, eyewitnesses were able to describe the chupacabra. In May 2006, experts were determined to track the animal down.

In mid-August 2006, Michelle O'Donnell of Turner, Maine, described an "evil looking" rodent-like animal with fangs that had been found dead alongside a road. The animal was apparently struck by a car, and was unidentifiable. Photographs were taken and witness reports seem to be in relative agreement that the creature was canine in appearance, but in widely published photos seemed unlike any dog or wolf in the area. Photos from other angles seem to show a chow- or akita-mixed breed dog. It was reported that "the carcass was picked clean by vultures before experts could examine it".

In May 2007, a series of reports on national Colombia news reported more than 300 dead sheep in the region of Boyaca, and the capture of a possible specimen to be analyzed by zoologists at the National University of Colombia.

In August 2007, Phylis Canion found three animals in Cuero, Texas. She and her neighbors reported to have discovered three strange animal carcasses outside Canion's property. She took photographs of the carcasses and preserved the head of one in her freezer before turning it over for DNA analysis. Canion reported that nearly 30 chickens on her farm had been exsanguinated over a period of years, a factor which led her to connect the carcasses with the chupacabra legend. State Mammologist John Young estimated that the animal in Canion's pictures was a Gray Fox suffering from an extreme case of mange. In November 2007, biology researchers at Texas State University–San Marcos determined from DNA samples that the suspicious animal was a coyote. The coyote, however, had grayish-blue, mostly hairless skin and large fanged teeth, which caused it to appear different from a normal coyote. Additional skin samples were taken to attempt to determine the cause of the hair loss.

On January 11, 2008, a sighting was reported at the province of Capiz in the Philippines. Some of the residents from the barangay believed that it was the chupacabra that killed eight chickens. The owner of the chickens saw a dog-like animal attacking his chickens.

In September 2009, CNN aired a report showing closeup video footage of an unidentified dead animal. The same CNN report stated that locals have begun speculating the possibility that this might be a chupacabra. A Texas taxidermist reported that he received the body from a former student whose cousin had discovered the animal in his barn, where it had succumbed to poison left out for rodents. The taxidermist expressed his belief that this is a genetically mutated coyote.

On September 18, 2009. Taxidermist, Jerry Ayer, sold the Blanco Texas Chupacabra to the Lost World Museum. The museum, reported in the Syracuse Post Standard on 9/26/09, is placing the creature on display as they work with a unnamed university to have the remains tested.

Chupacabra


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