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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Do You Believe in the Chupacabra?

In south Texas, every few months the stuff of legend rears its ugly fangs -- especially after another neighborhood pet or farm animal mysteriously dies. Beware the evil chupacabra! According to Wikipedia, the chupacabra, derivative of the Spanish words chupar, meaning "to suck," and cabra, meaning "goat," translates literally to "goat sucker." It is a legendary cryptid (creature whose existence has been suggested but lacks scientific support) rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas.

Also, rumors have spread that the creature may be deadly not only to livestock but to humans.True believing parents are cautious, warning their children to stay inside at night or risk a face-to-fang encounter with the chupacabra -- the monstrous red-eyed, spiky-haired, blood-sucking creature with a green-blue tint to its hide. Unlike conventional predators, the chupacabra is said to drain all of the animal's blood (and sometimes organs) through a single hole or two holes made by its large fangs.

The chupacabra haunts the minds of many residents in La Frontera, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Here, an amalgamation of cultures blend, so naturally numerous tales of creatures from many folklores are told by parents to their young.

The chupacabra replaces the boogeyman. Rumored to be originally of Puerto Rican folklore, the chupacabra and its reign spread to Central America in the '80s and '90s, and has moved northward through Mexico and Texas, where it has quickly been embraced and has lately been portrayed in artwork and film.The mystic of the creature, based partly on unexplained reality, is alluring and tantalizing horror. Supposed carcasses and film evidence of the chupacabra have been analyzed.

Is the creature really a coyote with a severe case of mange as University of California scientists claim? Is it a chow or akita-mixed dog as reports from as far away as Maine suggest? Could the creature be a gray fox with mange as Texas state mammologist John Young has reasoned? Is it a dog-like reptile of a prehistoric breed? Or, is it an American army genetic experiment gone terribly wrong, now covered up by a massive government and mass media conspiracy to prevent panic?

Individuals who have seen a chupacabra gave various reports: it hops like a kangaroo or even flies. It also is reported to have quills running down its back, a forked tongue, a sulfurous stench, and a screech accompanied by red, glowing eyes that make witnesses nauseous.

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Jerry Ayer, a teacher at the Blanco Taxidermy School in Blanco, Texas, told TV station KSAT that he's never seen anything like it."It got into his cousin's barn and they thought maybe it was a rodent tearing things up, and they had no idea since they’ve never seen it," said Ayer. "He got out some poison, and this is what they got the very next day." (Sacramento News, September 2 2009)

Ayer said he plans to preserve the animal with taxidermy. He also said he hopes a local museum will take it for display so everyone can marvel at the strange animal.

In the meantime, with Halloween right around the corner, costume manufacturers might cash in on the latest chupacabra outbreak and produce a gruesome new design. Certainly regional sales in La Frontera should make huge profits. And, kids, stay safely at home at night or else....

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