Those who follow alleged appearances of the cryptid known as the Chupacabra are aware that the goat-blood suckers were first reported in Puerto Rico in the mid 1990s during a time of UFO sightings and livestock killings which seemed to be linked for a time, but most stories since have dropped the UFO and alien connection. Skinny doglike creatures in Texas and eventually other states have been called Chupacabras because their emaciated heads (most think this is due to mange or blood poisoning from chemical plants) cause their canine teeth to look larger than normal. The legend and allure of the Puerto Rico bloodsucker has grown to such a level that most unsolved livestock killings around the world list “Chupacabra” as a probable cause. That includes India – while on the other side of the world in relation to Puerto Rico and Texas, this country seems to have a lot of incidents and sightings blamed on the Chupacabra. However, the attention level rose this week when an alleged livestock-killing bloodsucker was captured in India. Will this solve the mystery once and for all … or will a certain ridge-backed, lizard-like, bipedal, corpuscle-consuming possible ET in Puerto Rico still have the last laugh?
“A strange case has come to light in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar. A strange animal has been seen in a shop near Bhagwanpur Chowk. This animal had never been seen here until today. It is being told that the animal entered a shop late on Wednesday, which was seen later in the day after opening the shop on Thursday morning.”
It is rarely a good thing when an animal enters a store (see “Bull in a china shop”), but the creature which appeared in a shop in Muzaffarpur in the eastern state of Bihar recently was of special concern because no one seemed to be able to identify it. That’s not necessarily a reason to think “Chupacabra” … in fact, APN Live reported that the first thought of locals was “Demogorgon” – a fictional predatory humanoid from the Upside Down parallel dimension in TV series "Stranger Things." Others not familiar with that show described it as an alien … which probably got many more residents of Muzaffarpur in a state or curiosity and/or panic. As word spread about the creature, ETV Bharat reports that it “started climbing the wall like a cat.” That doesn’t sound like an alien but it could be a Chupacabra. However, before anyone could get a photo of capture it, the creature escaped from the store.
“Seeing this, people closed their windows and doors, so that he would not enter the house. The incident was reported to the local police station.”
While this may not sound like a reason to go into a lockdown, India was plagued by a number of mysterious and violent livestock killings in 2017 and 2018. They began in June 2017 in the rural eastern Indian state of Odisha, where villagers found over 150 sheep dead and mutilated in and around the village of Niali. The corpses were reportedly so deformed that locals blamed aliens, demons or Chupacabras. As the fear spread, there were reports that all of the sheep had their livers removed and that even some villagers were attacked. The killings continued in December 2017 when farmers in the Kendujhar District of eastern India reported that a “mysterious animal” was killing sheep and removing their livers. While the farmers were reportedly compensated for the dead sheep, police at the time had no idea what was responsible.
“Meanwhile, the forest department has advised the locals in the village to remain alert at night and has also announced to launch night patrolling to keep the predator at bay.”
With the police at a loss, wildlife officials were notified and they initiated a night watch for the creature or creatures which they also were at a loss to identify. The reports got worse as sheep were said to have been found with “deep injuries’ to their necks and other body parts removed. Things quieted down for a few months, but in June 2018 the killings resumed. A farmer in the village of Barchana in the eastern state of Odisha found two of his sheep dead and many others injured – yes, the livers were removed, and also the intestines. However, this time there was a new form of attack, as the owner told the Orissa Post:
“(The creature) drank the blood of the sheep."
Chupacabra! Signs of blood drinking or animals drained of blood are always signs that make people believe the predator is the notorious goat-sucker. One thing is unusual about this Indian version of the cryptid – it seems to only attack sheep, even though the farms have other four-legged livestock, chickens and ducks. Ganeswar Behera, the farmer in this case, said that hyenas don’t kill so many farm animals at once and he even found footprints he claimed look nothing like a wolf or another canine. Then, late in 2018, another farmer reported the mysterious killings of 40 of his ducks. That prompted the local forest officials to call in the big guns – the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). That organization sent in researchers who concluded that “poor and unhygienic husbandry practice and open garbage” on the farms was attracting stray dogs and they were to blame for the mysterious liver-removing killings and blood sucking. Needless to say, the farmers were not happy to be implicated in the deaths of their own livestock … especially with no photographic or physical evidence of the feral dogs.
“The police informed the forest department about it.”
That brings us back to Muzaffarpur and its mysterious wall-crawling creature. The local police brought in the Forest Department, but this time the wildlife officials had some success. They managed to take a video of the creature climbing up a wall (you can see the video here with wall climbing) and then cornered and captured it in a cage. While the report in ETV Bharat merely identified it as an animal that “is found in wild areas and water” and “wandering has reached here” (Google translation), it didn’t identify it. For that, we turn to the Internet’s most ‘reliable’ source – YouTube commenters.
“Definitely a Civet cat with mange.”
For those not up on their Asian animals, a civet is a small, lean, nocturnal mammal of the family Viverridae native to tropical forests in Asia and Africa. Its diet is not blood – in fact, most civets are omnivores or fruit-eating herbivores. Habitat loss has driven some to eat more livestock and smaller domesticated animals, but the food civets are most famous for consuming is coffee beans and then pooping them out, where humans harvest them and sell the beans at a premium – a 0.5 kg (1 lb) can cost up to $600 in some parts of the world and about $100 a cup in others. If the sad-looking skinny, hairless one in India is one of those, it should be glad it was caught instead of being killed by those thinking it was a Chupacabra.
Is the case of the India Chupacabra closed? When a land has a lot of farm animals, mysterious deaths, poor living conditions, underpaid police and native traditions, the case is never closed.