Chupacabra

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The chupacabras[1] (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃupaˈkaβɾas], from chupar "to suck" and cabra "goat", literally "goat sucker") is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated more recently with sightings of an allegedly unknown animal in Puerto Rico (where these sightings were first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities.[2] The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats.

Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed as early as 1995 in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile. It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail.

Biologists and wildlife management officials view the chupacabras as a contemporary legend.[3]

In July 2010, an animal was killed and reported to be a chupacabra, but found to be a coyote with a severe parasite infection. In October of that year, University of Michigan scientists theorised that parasite-riddled coyotoes (specifically the parasites responsible for scabies and mange) were likely the basis for the chupacabra legend.[4]

Contents

History

The first reported attacks occurred in March 1995 in Puerto Rico.[5] In this attack, eight sheep were discovered dead, each with three puncture wounds in the chest area and completely drained of blood.[5] A few months later, in August, an eyewitness, Madelyne Tolentino, reported seeing the creature in the Puerto Rican town of Canóvanas, when as many as 150 farm animals and pets were reportedly killed.[5] In 1975, similar killings in the small town of Moca, were attributed to El Vampiro de Moca (The Vampire of Moca).[6] Initially it was suspected that the killings were committed by a Satanic cult; later more killings were reported around the island, and many farms reported loss of animal life. Each of the animals had their bodies bled dry through a series of small circular incisions.

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