The Chupacabra

As cryptids go, this is a newcomer, a Juanito Come Lately you might say. With reports dating back to only 1995, the Chupacabra (Spanish for Goatsucker) is not some sicko pervert who goes around blowing goats, but rather a reptilian animal reputed to drain the blood from goats, sheep and other animals.

Originally, witnesses described the Chupacabra as a biped standing at around 4 – 5 feet in height, and having scaly, green/grey skin, red eyes, spines protruding from its back, and a snake-like forked tongue. Though generally reptilian, it hops like a kangaroo, has a doglike face and gives off a strongly sulfuric odor.

There is a more common and far less interesting version of this cryptid, but one that is so easily dismissed as a dog or coyote with a bad case of mange that it is hardly worth noting. Hairless ( severe and untreated cases of mange will lead to complete hair loss) and four legged and “dog-like,” reports of this particular creature are almost certainly reports of mange-effected dogs and coyotes. And, in fact, just about every time the carcass of one of these things is examined by a scientist, the conclusion is that it is either a dog, a coyote, or a combination of the two.

The cool version of the Chupacabra first struck in March of 1995 when it killed and drained several sheep of their blood, leaving only puncture wounds as its calling card. At this attack there were no witnesses, so we really don’t know what the hell happened. The first sighting was reported several months later in the Puerto Rican village of Canovanas. The creature had been on a pet-and-livestock killing spree in the area when it was spotted one afternoon by a local woman, Madelyne Tolentino, who claimed to have seen its bipedal, reptilian version. Pretty soon, animal deaths all over Latin America were being attributed to the mysterious creature — by which i mean the Chupacabra, not Miss Tolentino. Since then, the creature has supposedly widened its range to not only other parts of the Americas but also as far afield as Russia — maybe it’s an alcoholic species (heh, heh) and prefers Vodka to Tequila. Or maybe it’s just a racist bastard! Either way, how it got its hands on a plane ticket is another of the world’s great mysteries. But back to that original sighting. Unfortunately, Tolentino had recently seen the sci-fi movie “Species” and was under the impression that it was not a work of fiction but a depiction of actual events that had actually taken place in actual Puerto Rico. The movie features a monster that is reptilian and has spikes along its back, and which Tolentino herself admits looks a hell of a lot like a Chupacabra! And here is where the entire thing falls apart…

Take the originator’s admission that she can’t tell movies from reality, add the many cases confirmed as being various types of canine suffering from severe mange, throw in the complete lack of photographic evidence and the absence of sightings previous to the ‘90s and what do you have? You have a fascinating creature that, unfortunately, is probably far more bull than it is reptile.

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