Is the Chupacabra Real?

Sally Painter
Chupacabra reportedly has canine fangs

El Chupacabra is believed real by many people, but there's very little evidence to support this claim. The real Chupacabra is said to be a blood-sucking creature and is blamed for many animal attacks.

Early Chupacabra? El Vampiro de Moca

Cave dwellers depicted what they believed was a real Chupacabra in crude drawings. Legends of a blood-sucking monster haunted tribal cultures in North and South America. Natives of the rain forest told stories of a Mosquito Man, who sucked blood from animals through his long pointed beak. This creature was known as El Vampiro de Moca (The Vampire of Moca).

Chupacabra Gains Worldwide Attention

It wasn't until 1970 that the legend gained worldwide attention when several animals, including horses, were discovered dead in Moca, Puerto Rico. Each of the animals had been drained of all blood through two puncture wounds. Authorities dismissed the rumors of the El Vampiro and attributed the killings to satanic cults. However, when reports of sightings and dead animals with similar neck wounds began pouring into police stations all over Puerto Rico, the public was convinced the ancient vampiric creature was responsible.

Is the Chupacabra Real or Legend?

Decades after the Moca terror, a new wave of animal killings once more plagued Puerto Rico. Silverio Perez, a Puerto Rican musician turned television host jokingly called the legendary creature, El Chupacabra. Chupar means "to suck" and cabra is Spanish for goat. The public quickly adopted the new name.

Cryptozoologists Investigate

Cryptozoologists were intrigued with these strange stories. These scientists, dedicated to the study of previously unknown animals, conjectured that perhaps the Chupacabra was also depicted in Europe's medieval mythology of the gargoyle.

Descriptions of El Chupacabara

The descriptions of El Chupacabra vary, ranging from the size of a small bear to a three to four-foot tall lizard-man with spikes or quills running down the length of his back. Most reports describe the Chupacabra as a humanoid creature until recent claims surfaced about a canine-like beast. Eyewitnesses claim the creature morphs into another shape once it's sated with the blood of its prey. Over the years, the reported sightings of El Chupacabra seem to fall into three basic descriptions.

Lizard Man

The lizard man is the most common and ancient Chupacabra form reported.

  • Canine face with fangs and forked tongue
  • Hisses and screeches
  • Hops like a kangaroo, can leap twenty feet
  • Leathery skin or green and gray scales
  • Multi-colored quills or spikes along spine
  • People grow dizzy and nauseated when in its presence
  • Red glowing eyes
  • Sulfur odor

Hopping Dog

The next most common description is similar to the first.

  • Dense gray fur and facial hair
  • Doglike
  • Hops like kangaroo
  • Nauseating sulfur smell
  • Over-sized teeth, no fangs
  • Stands on hind legs

Hairless Wild Dog

The third description is similar to an animal recently killed recently in Texas.

  • Hairless leathery skin
  • Large teeth and claws
  • Sulfur stench
  • Pronounced spine

Chupacabra Sightings Spread to the Americas

Not long after the 1990 reports in Puerto Rico, sightings of the mysterious beast spread throughout South and North America. Mexico quickly became a hotbed for the animal's nightly massacres and sightings. The United States sightings have been reported in the Carolinas, Maine and Michigan, but the majority has come from the southwest states.

2017 Chupacabra Photographed on Golf Course

In August 2017, Doug Steward was playing a round of golf at the Santee Cooper Country Club in Santee, South Carolina when he saw a strange animal. He took a couple of photos and put them on his Facebook page asking friends what they thought the creature was. Some thought it might be a Chupacabra while others thought it was possibly a coyote or a dog with mange.

2017 Southern California Residents Report Chupacabras

In 2017, residents living at the base of Box Springs Mountain in Southern California reported seeing a strange creature. One man in Riverside claims he rescued his cat as a possible morning meal to a vicious Chupacabra.

2011 Sighting in Helotes, Texas

The video below documents a 2011 sighting in Helotes, Texas.

2006 Chupacabra Sighting in Albuquerque, New Mexico

A very interesting case occurred in September 2006. Valerie Pauls was going about her morning chores at the AmeriSuites Hotel when a hissing sound from the sixth floor roof alarmed her. When she glanced up, she saw two glowing red eyes. She described the creature as being similar to a gargoyle. Ms. Pauls was overcome by an obnoxious sulfur odor that made her dizzy. She described bright colors flashing around the creature. Disoriented, she stumbled to her car just as the creature lunged from its perch on the roof. It landed on the windshield of her car and cracked it. She says the creature then leapt back to the roof and disappeared.

2004 San Antonio, Texas: Animal Evidence

In July of 2004, a San Antonio, Texas rancher killed a dog-like animal. Scientific forensics revealed it was a canine, possibly a coyote with mange. Dubbed the Elmendorf Creature, two other similar canines were later found in the same area.

2001 Nicaragua Chupacabra Find

In 2001, a corpse thought to be a Chupacabra was found in Nicaragua. However, scientific testing of tissue samples revealed a previously unknown wild dog breed. Many people who asked, "Is the Chupacabra real?" believe these findings finally answer this troubling question.

Another Albuquerque, New Mexico Chupacabra Encounter

Rebecca Tuggle was about to climb into her car when she heard a hissing sound. She turned in its direction and saw a strange creature that appeared to be a combination of a kangaroo, lizard and bat with rainbow-colored spikes running the length of its spine. The creature was nearly four feet in stature and like others who've had such close encounters, Ms. Tuggle immediately became nauseated and dizzy. She also noted that the creature's eyes were red and glowed. The commonly described overpowering smell of sulfur was also present.

Michigan Sighting of Chupacabra

A man in Grand Haven, Michigan reported he came upon the Chupacabra as it was sucking the blood from a cat.

Videos Hoaxing Chupacabra

You can find numerous videos claiming to be of a Chupcabra. Many of these videos are pixilated or taken of coyotes or other canines while some are clearly hoaxed footages.

Scientific Explanations for Chupacabra

Most of the scientific explanations for the animal deaths and mutilations blame either humans or natural predators. Scientists explain the blood loss is due to a natural scavenging of insects. Cryptozoologists don't believe this explains the cases where puncture wounds much larger than insect bites exist with no signs of mutilation.

DNA Evidence Examined

Perhaps the most famous Chupacabra case is the Cuero Chupacabra found by Dr. Phyllis Canion as a road kill. Dr Canion had the animal preserved by a taxidermist and although the Department of Biology at Texas State University-San Marcos claimed the DNA identified the animal as coyote with a 97% confidence, Dr Canion states the DNA is specific to the Chupacabra. In 2014, Dr Phyllis Canion posted a video of the preserved Chupacabra she displays in her home.

Mange or Disease Causes Chupacabra

There are two theories that are used to explain the anomalies that are being seen in other species, such as fox and raccoon. In many of the cases where DNA has been tested, the results conclude the animals are a coyote, raccoon or dog. The explanations given for the strange hairless appearance is a specific mange. Sarcoptic mange is caused by a skin burrowing mite, Sarcoptes scabei.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Roland Kays, Biologist features a trail camera in a YouTube Video. Roland interviews Jessie Birkhead, a biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Jessie states that the Chupacabra featured in the trail cam photo is a coyote suffering from mange.

Chupacabra Bears Result of Unknown Disease

In 2009, Sky News reported three South American Spectacled bears in the East German Leipzig Zoo were going bald. The gray skinned bears had the same daunting appearance of the Chucpacabras. The zoo officials were baffled by the unknown disease.

Chupacabra Bear Disease Identified and Treated

However, in the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria's 2016 quarterly publication, Zooquaria, the disease was identified as Alopecia Syndrome. The disease afflicted the spectacle bears worldwide and a drug used to treat allergic dermatitis proved successful in treating the bears with their fur growing back.

Chupacabra Dubbed First Internet Monster

In 2016, the BBC featured the story of Benjamin Radford's five-year quest to track down the Chupacabra's origin in Puerto Rico. BBC reported that Radford concluded the Chupacabra reports were misidentifications of coyotes, dogs and raccoons. People don't recognize these animal in the hairless dark gray versions. Researcher Radford dubbed the Chupacabra as the "first Internet monster" attributing technology for spreading the idea of this mythological creature.

Is the Chupacabra Real or a Diseased Coyote?

The question if the Chupacabara is real seems to have been answered by the latest scientific evidence. However, some people still believe the animals captured and tested don't represent the creatures they've seen. They are convinced the real Chupacabra has yet to be captured.

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Is the Chupacabra Real?