mythical blood-sucking beast from Mexico
known as the chupacabra
has been roaming the Pineywoods
since 2004. Some say the hideous vampire beast is nothing more than
a mangy coyote. Others think the beast is a mutant result from the
2003 Space Shuttle Columbia crash that slung debris across East
Texas. Still, others contend the hairless creature is a hybrid
canine, as the result of breeding among feral dogs and coyotes. The
difference in this East Texas
legend and other mysteries that have eluded area residents and scientists
for years is the hard evidence that proves there is an ugly, hairless,
dog-like critter meandering about.
|" We Vaccinate
Photo by Dana Goolsby,
|People in the
Pineywoods have embraced the chupacabra
oddity and often joke about it. Last week a sign went up in Crockett
that turned heads and had other scratching thier head. Its vaccination
time again in Houston
County and apparently Crockett Veterinary Hospital will vaccinate
just about anything. Even a chupacabra!
2004, when Pollok
area residents shot and killed a hairless, four-legged canine creature
under their house, reports of chupacabra
sightings have been a regular occurrence in the Pineywoods.
The Mexican legend of the chupacabra
has only been circulating for about 15 years, and is believed to originated
in Puerto Rico. Most people who get a look at the bald beast describe
the animal as having blue-gray skin, almost hairless, with mange;
a large over bite, giving the animal a rat-faced appearance with extremely
long canine teeth; smaller front legs than hind legs, and as having
a tail similar to a rat. Some say the ghoulish creature looks like
the living dead; a canine zombie.
Mange, also known as sarcoptes scabiei, is a popular explanation
used to explain away the grotesque beast commonly seen throughout
the state. In humans and nonhuman animals alike, is a condition where
mites burrow under the skin of its host and secrete eggs and waste
material, thus triggering an inflammatory response from the immune
system. Such an infestation can be life threatening for canines such
as coyotes, which haven’t evolved especially effective reactions to
sarcoptes infection. Some scientists are suggest parasites created
transforming canines into the very goat suckers who are on the prowl.
East Texans aren’t sure about what exactly the animal is, but some
people suspect a mutation occurred after the 2003 space shuttle crash.
A ranch manager in Eastern Anderson
County said he never saw “anything like it until the space shuttle
crashed.” Since the crash the rancher claims he has seen three chupacabras,
which he believes are mutants.
“I’ve seen plenty of mangy coyotes in my day but none that ever looked
that bad,” he said.
Mexican folklore has passed down the legend of the chupacabra
in several forms. Most popular are the lizard-like being description
and the hairless dog description which is commonly reported in Texas
as well. In Mexican culture the lizard-like chupacabra
is said to have leathery or scaly, greenish-gray skin and sharp spines
running down its back. The creature is said to be approximately three
to four feet tall and hops like a kangaroo. This Mexican monster has
been described as having a panther or dog-like face with large teeth,
and a long, forked tongue. The beast is said to hiss and screech when
angry or alarmed.
The word “chupacabra”
literally means goat sucker. The creature so often spotted in Mexico
and Texas is credited with sucking the
blood of livestock, especially goats. The growing legend of the chupacabra
has sparked interest among trained zoologists and amateur enthusiasts.
The chupacabra oddity
falls third into the realm of cryptozoology, right behind the two
most famous cryptid creatures Bigfoot
and Loch Ness.
Reports from witnesses who helped with the Pollok
creature’s autopsy revealed gruesome details about the creature being
called a chupacabra.
One woman said there was almost no blood seeping from the gun shot
entry wound on the animal and the tissue appeared rotted and necrotic.”
The woman told reporters in Lufkin
the creature’s ear “broke like a cookie” when its head was moved for
a photo and resembled the carcass of an animal that had been dead
for at least a month.
residents say they witnessed the hideous creature in 2007. The group
said they were at a house located East of Grapeland
when the decrepit critter moseyed up. They had all heard tales of
the chupacabra but
no one in the group had ever seen one before. They said it walked
into the yard slowly and sniffed around for awhile. One member of
the group left the area to get a gun because they were not sure of
the animal would attack them or other animals on the property. While
he was away the creature left the yard just as slowly as it had entered
and was never seen again.
The group’s description of the creature was consistent with the gray,
hairless, dog-like creature with shorter front legs than hind legs,
and a rat-like tail.
“We just sat there and stared at each other and it (the creature).
I don’t think any of us knew what to say. We had all heard of chupacabras
and about the sightings in East
Texas,” said the spokesperson for the group.
Not all of the group would label the creature a chupacabra,
and one referred to it as a mangy coyote. But one thing the group
seemed to agree on is just how hideous-looking the creature was.
“That was the ugliest thing I have ever seen,” the spokesperson said,
as the rest of the group nodded in agreement.
sightings have taken place in some of the most remote settings in
East Texas, but within
highly traveled areas are not strangers to sightings. In recent years,
one of the creatures was spotted in a Nacogdoches
neighborhood, in a resident’s back yard.
East Texans have yet to report an attack on a human by a chupacabra,
the blood sucking, vampire beast. However, East
Texas residents say the creature is reportedly fond of goats,
chickens and other small animals. Sightings of the creature happen
on a fairly regular basis, although not all sightings get reported
to Texas Parks and Wildlife. It appears that East Texans are getting
used to seeing the creatures, despite the fact there is no official
explanation for the creature’s existence or demise, however you might
If you or someone you know has seen a creature that resembles the
description of a chupacabra
please contact our team at MYETX.com. We are always interested in
the strange and unusual in East
Texas and want to see your photos and videos and hear your reports.
Email us your reports, sightings, photos and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org!
© Dana Goolsby
"In The Pines With Dana Goolsby"
September 30, 2011 Column