Is the Chupacabra Real? Delve Into Tales of the Legend

Updated July 1, 2021
Chupacabra reportedly has canine fangs

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

Is the Chupacabra Real or Just a Legend?

The DNA collected so far of suspected Chupacabras has revealed the creatures to be either coyotes or various canines. The origin of this cryptid began centuries ago with legends of a blood-sucking monster that 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). Even cave dwellers depicted what they believed was a real Chupacabra in crude drawings.

In the 1970s, in Moca, Puerto Rico, eight sheep were discovered dead. Each had puncture wounds with no blood left in the body. Over the next few weeks, several animals, including horses, were discovered dead in and around the town.

Each of the animals had been drained of all blood through two puncture wounds in the neck. 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.

Decades after the Moca terror, in 1995, 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 and the legend of the Chupacabra gained worldwide attention.

Eyewitness Descriptions of the Chupacabra

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. Eyewitnesses claim the creature morphs into another shape once it's sated with the blood of its prey.

The lizard man is the most common and ancient Chupacabra form reported. This lizard creature is reported to have a canine face with fangs and forked tongue, and it smells like sulfur. It is said to hiss and release a terrifying screech. It has leathery green or gray scaley skin. It hops about and can leap 20 feet. If this isn't frightening enough, it has red glowing eyes and long spikes or quills that run the length of its spine. Eyewitnesses report growing dizzy and nauseated when in its presence.

However, over the years, sighting of the Chupacabra describe the beast to look more like a canine. It has dense gray fur and facial hair and a doglike face. It stands on its hind legs and hops about like a kangaroo. Its teeth are oversized, but it no longer has the fabled fangs. It still has the obnoxious sulfur odor. The most recent sightings described the Chupacabra as a hairless beast with lathery skin, claw, large teeth, and a pronounced spine. The sulfur smell is nauseating.


Woman Encounters Chupacabra

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.

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.

Man Saves Cat from Chupacabra

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. This isn't the only time a cat has been the prey of a Chupacabra. A man in Grand Haven, Michigan, reported that he came upon the Chupacabra as it was sucking the blood from a cat.

Rooftop Chupacabra Attacks Woman

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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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 believed these findings finally answered this troubling question.

Perhaps the most famous Chupacabra case is the Cuero Chupacabra found by Dr. Phylis Canion as a road kill in 2007. 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.

Wild Coyote suffering from Mange

Is the Chupacabra Real or a Mangy Coyote?

The question of whether the Chupacabra 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 in the legend or the ones they've seen. They're convinced the real Chupacabra has yet to be captured.

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Is the Chupacabra Real? Delve Into Tales of the Legend