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Mysteries of Chupacabra

image The late 20th century saw the first reports of what has become known as the chupacabra.

While the legends of some cryptids extend back centuries, others are relative newcomers to human experience and sightings.

The first officially reported sighting of this strange beast was in Puerto Rico in 1995. In the midst of a rash of animal deaths to small livestock, Madeleine Tolentino and some friends saw what they described as a being about four feet tall with a large head that had a lipless mouth, fangs and large red eyes. They said the beast had kangaroo-like hind legs, short clawed arms and webbed wings like a bat.

Just a few weeks before this, a number of sheep had been found with only a few puncture wounds to their necks but totally drained of blood. The multitude of animal deaths in the town of Canovanas also displayed small wounds and an absence of blood in the bodies. These deaths, usually occurring among chickens, dogs, pigs, sheep, goats and other small animals was very similar to a number of events that took place around the city of Moca twenty years earlier. At the time it was blamed on a vampire but the sightings of the creature responsible had the beast confirmed and named "El Chupacabras" the goatsucker.

Soon reports of blood-drained animal deaths spread to Mexico and then south from Central to South America and up into the United States, especially the southern regions. Along with the increased numbers of exsanguinated farm animals, fear of this strange and ghastly looking creature spread among the population, especially among rural farm communities.

New witnesses added to the general look of the bipedal, lizardlike creature reported from Puerto Rico. A line of sharp quills down the back of the beast was reported. Others said that chupacabra had a forked tongue. Finally there were reports of a more dog-like looking creature being seen running from the area of blood-drained corpses. The only good news was that chupacabra confined its depredations to farm animals. There are no reports of the beast attacking or killing humans.

There have been several bodies brought in for scientists to examine. Several of these bodies were discovered in Texas. DNA analysis has stated the beasts in question were mange ridden grey foxes and mutated coyotes. One body, provided by Reggie Lagow of Coleman, Texas, was described by him as being a mix of hairless dog, rat and kangaroo. He gave the body to Texas Parks and Wildlife officers for identification but it swiftly disappeared without a further trace.

Speculations on the actuality and origins of chupacabra are many. There are those who insist this blood drinking creature is an extraterrestrial beast that has been let loose on our planet. Some conspiracy theorists claim it must be the result of genetic experiments gone wrong and escaped from secret government labs. Whatever the truth behind the legend of the chupacabra, none seem to have ever been photographed alive. For the most part the bodies that have been found have been identified as mundane, if abnormal, creatures. As a contemporary legend, the belief in chupacabra has grown to worldwide proportions and is not slowing down for lack of proof.