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Startling Chupacabra Kill, or Merely Another Varmint Vanquished?

In the mid 1990s, reports first began to stem out of Latin America of a truly odd, diminutive creature that would forever haunt the world of cryptozoology, both for the strange nature of the entity in question, as well as its apparent lust for blood. 1995 saw the earliest reports of what came to be known as the “chupacabra,” a vampiric sort of Puerto Rican cryptid resembling a small alien with glowing red eyes and frills running the length of its back.

This creature, whose name was drawn from reports of goats and other small farm animals it frequently attacked and killed, would at times cause a frenzy in small, suburban areas throughout the Isle of Enchantment and, later on, in parts of Mexico and the Southern United States.

With the long lineage of terror these creatures have managed to claim through their exploits, today I was thrilled to see that a “chupacabra” was recently shot and killed. Well, not so much, really… since I’d rather the poor little bugger–whatever it was–not have to die in vain. But alas, as expected, the event was given the “usual treatment” by the mainstream media, when in truth, what was killed and apprehended (as you and I both probably know already) was far from being anything remotely similar to a chupacabra.

Of course, all the groaning and foot-stomping in the world won’t undo the heresy we’re afforded by those who care nothing about taking a subject like cryptozoology seriously. And keep in mind that with this term “cryptozoology” we only mean, essentially, the study of animals presumed to exist based on reports of encounters people have had with them, which all the while are not yet acknowledged as living species by the scientific mainstream. It isn’t a hard concept to grasp, right? Nonetheless, Fox News reported less-than-brilliantly on the matter earlier today… here’s the way the headline read:

The legendary chupacabra has been spied, shot and killed — will bigfoot be next?

Wonderful to see that some odd-looking little creature (likely a possum, or perhaps a varmint of some sort, as we’ll get to in a moment) has been shot and killed, rather than the diminutive, lizard-like little monsters from the early Puerto Rican reports back in the 1990s. To be clear, this is not a “chupacabra” in the truest sense by any means. However, before we go any further with the report from today, is it too much to ask also that the word “Bigfoot” be capitalized? To quote Loren Coleman, author of Bigfoot: The True Story of Apes in America, since “words like Sea Serpent, Nessie, Bigfoot, Yeti, and related forms all have not been technically ‘accepted’ by systematic zoology, as of this date, the capitalized form (should) be employed.” (Curiously, the same does not typically apply to the use of the term chupacabra in Fortean literature, hence my use of the lower case… but I digress). Moving right along…

Mark Cothren described the creature, which strolled onto his lawn in Lebanon Junction, KY, as having large ears, whiskers, a long tail, and about the size of a house cat.

This description seems to differ from the kind of creature initially described by researchers such as Jorge Martin, editor of Puerto Rico’s well known and respected OVNI Evidencia, a magazine that features UFO and similar subjects. Again, early reports deal more with small, humanoid creatures with scaly skin, a greenish color, frills running the length of their backs, red eyes, and sometimes even wings. As Martin notes, in some instances these odd creatures were known to “vanish” mysteriously, under very curious circumstances that supported notions of an otherworldly presence. The creature featured in today’s Fox News article, on the other hand, looks like something else… but what, exactly?

“That is no coyote,” my friend Nancy Planeta, host of the weekly radio program The Vixen’s Vault, told me during an email exchange earlier today. “We have tons of wild coyotes down here,” she noted. “The jaw is the wrong shape, as well as the top of the ears; not to mention that this animal has what are called “sensory” whiskers, which is more indicative of a cat or a rodent.” This seems in keeping with the description of the animal’s size, at least, since coyotes are obviously much larger than the average house cat. “Coyote’s whiskers are at the end of the snout, not up at the top of the nasal passages, and their snouts are a lot more narrow and elongated then whatever the hell that thing is. My guess would be some type of rodent,” she concluded. Other potential identities may include a possum, fox, or what is known in the Swahili tongue as the nekta-hota, which strongly resembles a minuscule elephant.

Okay, I was just kidding about that last one… no such creature as a “nekta-hota” exists; but we might as well joke around and kid like this, since that’s no better than the attention the media pays to real cryptozoological matters. Instead, we get this sort of tripe. After all, if it’s sensational and non-news, then the press seems content to run with it. I wonder what sort of treatment, on the other hand, a seemingly valid report that dealt with the killing of a Bigfoot would receive? Who knows… but for the time being, while the mainstream continues to scoff at and make light of the matter, at least we, the happy bunch at Mysterious Universe, know we’re in good company when we cry “BUNK!” on this one.

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Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.
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