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The Goat Sucker: Fact or Legend?

Folklore regarding El Chupacabra - a name which means goat sucker - goes back many years. However the modern chupacabra era probably began in 1975 with the arrival in Puerto Rico of the "Moca Vampire".

The Moca Vampire

The year 1975 saw a wave of UFO sightings across Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean region. Coinciding with this a large number of Puerto Rican farmers reported unexplained animal killings everything from ducks to cows and, of course, goats. The animals had reportedly been cut open and their blood removed. The first reports of this strange phenomenon came from the town of Moca, hence the name Moca Vampire ("El Vampire de Moco").

Various explanations have been put forward for the Moca Vampire, everything from alien mutation of cattle to escaped crocodiles! Whatever the explanation, as the UFO flap died down so did the animal attacks.

Enter the Chupacabra

After a period of quiet, the cattle mutilations began again in Puerto Rico during the early nineteen-nineties. This time there was no convenient wave of UFOs to provide an easy explanation.

Once again animals were being killed and their blood removed. This time it seemed to be mainly goats that were being targetted, hence the name "goat sucker".

An important difference from twenty years earlier was that this time there were witnesses, people who claimed to have seen the chupacubra. It has been called a "living gargoyle". Most witnesses describe a weird bipedal creature about four feet tall, somewhat lizardlike with grey skin or scales down its back. It also has large eyes and excellent night vision. The similarity between this description and the standard image of the "Grey" alien is striking, adding fuel to the extra-terrestrial hypothesis.

Over the next couple of years, sightings of the creature spread out from Puerto Rico across Mexico and much of Central America. Exact figures are difficult to come by but it is estimated that several thousand animal deaths have been attributed to the goatsucker.

In 2000, the BBC reportedthat a Nicaraguan farmer claimed to have shot a chupacabra and to have later found the remains. Zoologists examined the creature and declared it a dog, however the farmer, Jose Luis Talavera, rejected this insisting that he shot and killed a chupacabra.

More recently - summer 2004 - a farmer in Elmendorf shot and killed an unusual creature. Some people have suggested that the Elmendorf Beast might be a chupacabra.

What is the Chupacabra?

To a cryptozoologist, chupacabras - if they exist at all - are unknown creatures. It would be nice to think that they are a previously undiscovered, monstrous species, possibly some form of surviving dinosaur. More probable is that they are some form of Alien Big Cat (ABC). "Alien" in this sense simply means out of place rather than from another world! Illegally imported panthers are one hypothesis.

Of course there are other possible explanations. Some people still hold to the UFO cattle mutilation idea. Others think that the cupacubra is an alien creature released - accidentally or deliberately - by the UFO visitors in the nineteen seventies. Still others believe it to be the result of some strange genetic experiment that escaped from a research laboratory.


The name Chupacabra translates literally from Spanish as "goat-sucker". It comes from the creature's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Grunch Sightings began in New Orleans in the late 1960's and Chupacabra, Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, and have since been reported as far north as the Carolinas, and as far south as Chile. The Chupacabra, as it is known now, was called 'El Vampiro de Moca' {in Puerto Rico}, some years ago.


The legend of los Chupacabras began in about 1992, when Puerto Rican newspapers El Vocero and El Nuevo Dia began reporting the killings of many different types of animals, such as birds, horses, and as its name implies, goats. At the time it was known as El Vampiro de Moca since some of the first killings occurred in the small town of Moca. While at first it was suspected that the killings were done randomly by some members of a satanic cult, eventually these killings spread around the island, and many farms reported loss of animal life. The killings had one pattern in common: each of the animals found dead had two punctured holes around their necks.

Soon after the animal deaths in Puerto Rico, other animal deaths were reported in other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Brazil, the United States and, most notably, Mexico.

Both in Puerto Rico and Mexico, El Chupacabra gained urban legend status. Chupacabras stories began to be released several times in American and Hispanic newscasts across the United States, and chupacabras merchandise, such as t-shirts and baseball hats, was sold.

The chupacabra is generally treated as a product of mass hysteria, though the animal mutilations are sometimes real. Like many cases of such mutilations, however, it's been argued that they are often not as mysterious as they might first appear.


Certain South American rain forest natives believe in the "mosquito-man", a mythical creature of their folklore that pre-dates modern chupacabras sightings. The mosquito-man sucks the blood from animals through his long nose, like a big mosquito. Some say mosquito-man and chupacabras are one and the same.

Notable sightings in the United States include one reported by multiple eye-witnesses in Calaveras County, California, and at a recent birthday celebration of a Development Team member of a local charity in Houston, Texas. According to these reports, the creature was sighted for the first time in the early to mid 1990s, harming animals of different species - although it is now thought that people did this themselves.

In July of 2004, a rancher near San Antonio, Texas, killed a hairless, dog-like creature (the Elmendorf Creature) that was attacking his livestock. It was later determined to be a canine (most likely a coyote) of some sort with demodectic mange. In October of 2004, two animals which closely resemble the Elmendorf creature were observed in the same area. The first was dead, and the second was noticed by a local zoologist who was called to identify the animal while she was travelling to the location where the first was found. Specimens were studied by biologists in Texas; the creatures are thought to have been canines of undetermined species with skin problems and facial deformities.

El Chupacabra has often been spotted in Michigan, a recent sighting occurring in Grand Haven. A forty-two year old man said he saw it suck the blood out of a cat.

A famous appearance in the city of Varginha, Brazil, (see Varginha incident) is sometimes attributed to the chupacabras, the phenomenon is more frequently associate with extraterrestrials. In 1997, was an explosion of Chupacabra cases in Brazil, were reported in Brazilian newspapers, one report coming from police officer, who claimed to get a nauseous feeling when he saw a dog-like chupacabra in a tree.

Recently, there has been a spate of El Chupacabra sightings in the United States, specifically in the suburbs of Washington DC and outside of the Philadelphia area. However, controversy exists whether these Chupacabra sightings are legitimate; some contend El Chupacabra is simply a beagle named Sophie Peanuts.

Supposed appearances

Descriptions of the physical appearance of each specimen can resemble descriptions of other specimens, or differ from other descriptions. These creatures' different incarnations are described in details that make it impossible that these different descriptions are the result of conflicting perceptions. Therefore, the Chupacabra may be several species, or several breeds of one or more species. Although they have different appearances, Chupacabras are typically 3 ft. (1 m) or taller, they are roughly humanoid in shape as they are bipedal with 2 arms, and are described as otherworldly creatures.

Usually, Chupacabras are said to appear in three specific forms:

The first and most common: a lizard-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. It stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion as a kangaroo. In at least one sighting, the creature hopped 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue protruding from it, large fangs, and is said to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as to leave a sulfuric stench behind.

The second variety appears to bear a resemblance to a wallaby and a dog standing on it's hind legs. It stands and hops as a kangaroo, and it has coarse fur with greyish facial hair. The head is similar to a dog's, and its mouth has large teeth.

The third form is simply that of a strange breed of wild dog that is mostly hairless, has a pronounced spinal ridge, unusually pronounced eye sockets, teeth, and claws, but is otherwise a typical canine. This animal is said to be the result of interbreeding between several populations of wild dogs, though enthusiasts claim that it might be an example of a dog-like reptile. The account during the year 2001 in Nicaragua of a chupacabras corpse being found supports the conclusion that it is simply a strange breed of wild dog. The alleged corpse of the animal was found in Tolapa, Nicaragua, and forensically analyzed at UNAN-Leon. Pathologists at the University found that it was just an unusual-looking dog. There are very striking morphological differences between different breeds, from which wild dogs generally descend. These can easily account for the strange characteristics.

Some reports claim the chupacabra's red eyes have the ability to hypnotize and paralyze their prey—the prey animal is mentally stunned, allowing the chupacabras to suck the animal's blood at its leisure. The effect is similar to the bite of the vampire bat or certain snakes or spiders that stun their prey with venom. Unlike conventional predators, the chupacabras sucks all the animal's blood (and sometimes organs) through a single hole or two holes.


The Chupacabra is also a center of theories of sorts.

It is described as being like gargoyles, and it has been theorized that the creatures were seen in Medieval Europe. The theory states gargoyles were carved to resemble them, to keep the public afraid of any place with gargoyles.

It is also a theory that Chupacabras are alien creatures. Chupacabras are widely described as otherworldly, and on a certain witness report, NASA may be involved. The witness reported that NASA passed through an area in Latin America, with a trailer that was thought to contain an incarcerated creature.



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