The Chupacabra (Goat Sucker)

Arguably the most famous South and Central American cryptid [1] is the Chupacabra (from the Spanish, chupar: to suck and cabra: goat).

Without actually naming the culprit, the media has described Chupacabra like events since the mid 1950s, with sightings in the United States, Mexico and various Caribbean, Central and South American countries.

This changed in 1995 with the finding of eight Puerto Rican sheep, dead and devoid of blood. The beast purportedly responsible, a composite of vampire, alien and lizard was given a name “El Chupacabra.”  Witnesses describe it as being reptilian with clawed hands, a ridged back and tail, walking upright on kangaroo like legs and possessing large oval “Grey” like eyes. In stature it's about the size of a large monkey or small bear.

More strange and macabre killings were to follow in countries as geographically diverse as Chile, the United States and Russia.

In 2004 a Texas rancher killed what later turned out to be a mange ridden coyote attacking his livestock. A second Texan trapped something resembling a rat/kangaroo hybrid that had apparently been killing his chickens.

In 2006 reports flooded in from Russia of turkeys, sheep and other animals killed by something that afterward sucked out their blood.

In 2007 three hundred dead sheep were found in an isolated area of Columbia and 30 more in Texas many with their blood drained and organs removed. DNA analysis on a suspected culprit (Texas) revealed it to be another mange ridden coyote.

In 2008 a further report of dead chickens was attributed to Chupacabra by villagers in the Philippines; the owner later placed blame on a wild dog.

The Chupacabra myth seems to have been largely media and Internet driven helped along by entrepreneurs in search of a quick buck and entertainers in search of publicity. The name was purportedly coined by famous Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur Silverio Perez in 1995.

[1] The word “cryptid” was devised by Manitoban John E. Wall and first used in the International Society of Cryptozoology Newsletter, Summer 1983. It basically refers to creatures that are hypothetical, presumed extinct or for which there is insufficient proof to establish their existence with absolute certainty.

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