Chupacabra fans – whether of the Texas or Puerto Rican kind – will be happy to hear that a mysterious creature killed in Romania after attacking sheep, lambs, birds and dogs was not misidentified as a Chupacabra. However, the strange dog-ish/hyena-ish/mangy-sish/mysteri-ish creature defies identification and has locals fearing for their livestock, their lambs, their Labs and their legs.
“I don't know what animal it was, because I never saw it. I ate it for my lamb, I set it on fire in the valley. He had no hair on his head, only a mane. (...) He is not a dog, sir, he has some teeth! And he jumped here on the road and to the shepherd!” (Google translation)
Shepherd Lucian Timoș told the Romanian news TV show Știrile ProTV what he and fellow shepherds in Galați, a village on the Danube River in the Western Moldavia region of eastern Romania, encountered last week after lambs began disappearing. Hoping they just wandered into the woods, the shepherds and boys who help them went looking, only to find dead lambs and a creature with a bloody snout.
“Me, what the hell is this ?! I've never seen it. I said first that it's a dog! What a dog, me, when he suddenly threw it like that… He has two rows of teeth. ” (Google translation)
Mediafax.ro reported that after the creature attacked one of them and a dog, the shepherds formed a posse and went after it with sticks, eventually cornering and beating it to death. They then dragged it back to the village where it was strung from a tree to be photographed (see photos here) and videoed (pixelated video here) before the villagers set it on fire.
"It's great, yes! (...) Don't get close to him because you don't know what disease he has! Look at the stench of the wilderness!” (Google translation)
That didn’t leave much for Adrian Alexandru to examine. He was called in first as the director of AJVPS GALAȚI, the local County Association of Sport Hunters and Fishermen. Based on what he saw and the eyewitness descriptions, he believed the creature was a hyena which had been kept as a pet and escaped from another area of Moldavia across the Prut River, a tributary of the Danube. Hyenas are carnivores and are related more closely to felines than canines. The shepherds didn’t say whether the creature had spots or stripes – identifying characteristics of hyenas. Because of that, biologist Mădălin Șerban, who also examined the photos and video, had a different theory.
“From the images I looked at, I consider that it is not a hyena because the body structure is totally diphritic in hyenas, they have a massive head, otherwise dentition. Sure, it looks really weird. In my opinion, this is a wild dog, massive indeed, suffering from a skin disease, more than likely, a form of itching.”
A dog with a skin disease, possibly mange, sounds more likely – and more like the chubacabras of Texas. Neither of these descriptions sound like the lizard-skinned, spiny-backed Puerto Rican Chupacabra and neither addresses the most unusual characteristic of the creature … two rows of teeth. There’s only one land creature animal on Earth with two rows of teeth – the rare tuatara of New Zealand.
While resembling lizards, they are a distinct species with a double row of teeth on top and a single row on the bottom. They also have a spiny crest along the back and a mysterious photoreceptive third eye. Spiny back? Weird third eye? Two rows of teeth? Eats sheep? Didn’t the biologist say “it looks really weird”? Did anyone check to see if the Romanian creature sucked their blood? Could it have been a new kind of Eastern European Chupacabra?
Nah. But it’s always fun to throw that out, isn’t it?
The villagers of Galați asked the local authorities to check the woods for any other wild dogs/escaped hyeanas/possible cryptids. They also gave them good advice, even if they don’t see or touch one.
“Wash your hands well, it’s a big bathroom, some of these have appeared here.”
And don’t wear anything wool.