El chupacabra, or just chupacabra, is a legendary cryptozoology creature that has been haunting various parts of the globe since an initial sighting in March 1995. The term “chupacabra” is derived from Spanish, with chupar meaning “to suck” and cabra meaning “goat.”
The creature gained this dark, mystical name from the initial reports from Puerto Rico in 1995. In March and August 1995, attacks on more than 150 farm animals left officials dumbfounded. Eyewitness accounts, published in local newspapers, spoke of a creature with a “reptilian body, oval head, bulging red eyes, fanged teeth and long, darting tongue.” The farm animals in Puerto Rico were found to be drained of blood with puncture wounds in the neck. No meat was taken from the animals’ bodies. The situation in Puerto Rico reached such a fever pitch that Mayor Jose Soto recruited volunteers to hunt the creature weekly for nearly a year, with no success.
It’s important at this point to make a distinction. When chupacabras are reported, they usually fall into one of two categories. First, and most common to the Puerto Rico incidents, is a chupacabra that is reptile-like in nature with leathery greenish-gray skin and spines running down the spine of the back. The monster can be approximately three to four feet tall and is a bipedal – standing and hopping like a kangaroo.
The second, increasingly common version of the chupacabra is more like a strange breed of wild dog or coyote. This version lacks the hair of a dog, but features the pronounced spinal ridge or “spikes” similar to the reptilian chupacabra. The four-legged, dog-like chupacabra is also known for some fearsome fangs and claws used for training animal’s blood. The “mark” of the chupacabra on the victims is typically one to three holes, and in the shape of an upside-down triangle when three holes are apparent.
While the chupacabra or “goat sucker” seems to be a recent cryptozoology finding, the Mayans may have encountered the creature many years ago.
In Mayan mythology, Camazotz was known as the death bat or vampire bat. Stories reveal a creature with a bat or lizard-like face, two arms and the ability to turn into a statue during the day. The creature’s sharp snout even lends itself as a device that could suck blood from victims. Even more findings identify terms like “goat sucker” found in Mayan literature as early as 1400 B.C.
At Chupamacabre, we love the chupacabra because it’s just a bit different than other creatures of lore. It captures our imagination in new ways. The chupa has been “captured” in various sightings since 1995, and later tested by biologists. Tests often identify the creatures as mammals with parasitic manges of various types, but can never account for dead or victimized farm animals and livestock in the area. Unlike the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, Chupacabras are “seemingly” found, seen, captured, and still mystify and dumbfound us all. We hope you love the whimsical nature of this cryptobeast as much as we do.
Since those initial sightings in Puerto Rico, chupacabras have gained worldwide appeal and in some case, worldwide sightings. Nearest and dearest to our hearts are sightings in North America, including a rash of sightings recently in Texas and some in Florida. Russia, China, Thailand, the Philippines, and other countries report chupacabra-like sightings or killings of livestock.
What’s next for the chupacabra? We’re not sure. However, we would love your help in tracking these magical beasts. If you see a chupacabra, let us know. We’ve created a very easy form to fill in your story. Your sighting could be memorialized in artwork or with a t-shirt, or we might blog about the experience. We’d love to know! Just click here to go to our “Submit Your Sighting Page.”
For more information, check out these great articles:
- The History of El Chupacabra from the Animal Planet
- Chupacabra: Facts about the Mysterious Vampire Beast from Livescience.com
- Chupacabra Science: How Evolution Made a Mythical Monster from National Geographic
- History of El Chupacabra from Cryptidz on Wikia.