News from Belize
San Pedro Sun exclusive report -
Last Saturday, June 22, the editors of The
San Pedro Sun were waved down by workers at Banyan Bay Villas. Mito Paz
excitedly explained that the workers wanted to know if the newspaper was
aware of the "Chupa Cabras" on the island. Not knowing about the dreaded
beasts, the editors admitted they knew nothing. It was explained that the
chupa cabra, was perhaps an evil outer-space creature that is killing
horses, cows, sheep and dogs in Mexico and now it has crossed the border
into Belize and killed three "sheep" right here in San Pedro. The excited
men said they had seen programs on Mexican T.V. and it was true, and asked
us to come and see the dead "sheep". We proceeded to the pen where the sheep
and goats are kept, and lying on the ground outside the pen was a dead
sheep. Due to the heat the sheep was beginning to bloat and no wounds were
It was indeed puzzling. We talked about the deaths of the sheep and
wondered if vampire bats were involved. After talking to several people
about the chupa cabra we realized that we were probably among the few who
hadn't heard of them. Many people in San Pedro had seen news reports on TV
Azteca (a Mexican television channel) and were quite informed. So we watchedTV
Azteca and lo and behold, people in Veracruz, Mexico were marching with
signs in front of government offices asking officials to take action against
the beasts. The commentator said that reports of these "animals" were wide
spread in Mexico, Guatemala and Puerto Rico.
Monday morning we called the Ministry of Agriculture in Belmopan
attempting to get information and to find out if other incidents of live
stock mysteriously dying at night had been reported. The person who answered
the telephone laughed with amusement when the situation was explained and
referred the call to a higher authority. After several more calls, and
retelling the story, officials said that this was the first information they
had received about livestock deaths in San Pedro, and that they had no
information on chupa cabras. The conversation closed with the spokesperson
very politely saying that perhaps people in San Pedro watched too much
Monday afternoon Mito Paz called. He said there were eyewitnesses who
saw the chupa cabra before it allegedly attacked the sheep Friday night. In
fact, he said that one of the witnesses, Tyrel Haylock, 9 years old had
drawn a picture of the creature (see rendering on page 1). We arranged a
time for an interview of the eyewitnesses. Tuesday, June 25 we met the eyewitnesses after school. Tyrel Haylock,
Annette Cantun, both age 9 and her brother Umberto, age 6, said that on
Friday night they were downstairs outside the Cantun's house talking. Tyrel
saw the creature about 150 feet away, on the ground beside a coconut tree.
He pointed to the tree and showed where the three of them were standing. The
chupa cabra then came toward the house where the feed for the sheep was
stored. It was almost as big as the goats.( A discussion between the
children determined that it was not as big as the sheep but as big as the
goat). Tyrel demonstrated how the chupa cabra looked - he said it was
crouched down, like it was squatting. His big wings were on his back; he had
small arms, a tail, and sort of jumped and made a strange small sound.
Annette showed us with her hands how tall it was and she indicated it was
about as tall as her brother Umberto.
After the creature came toward the house they ran to get their father.
He came out with a light and a machete and went to look for it by the pen,
which is about 100 feet from the house. The children waited in the dark.
Annette said she was afraid to go inside because her father had the light.
She said she was crying. The father did not see the creature and to date it
has not been back. Meanwhile...
The World Wide Web on the Internet was checked out by the San Pedro Sun
for information regarding the Chupa Cabra. There were over 500 entries! -
and the chupa cabra has its own home page on the WEB. The home page is
filled with articles about the creature and some illustrations (but no
photos). There are reports from Florida, Mexico and Puerto Rico. There are
many articles about what the Puerto Rican government has done, profiles on
chupa cabra hunters, even chupa cabra tracks for sale. The home page is
soliciting articles about the chupa cabra. The San Pedro Sun will send San
Pedro's version for inclusion in the growing Chupa Cabra web page (which won
a Point Top 5% of Web Sites Award).