This "chupacabra" was captured in Ratcliff, Texas by farmer Jackie Stock and her family last Sunday. Jackie's husband caught the creature eating corn in a tree on their property. Many Ratcliff residents have been calling it a chupacabra.
According to Brent Ortego, a wildlife diversity biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, so-called chupacabras are usually dogs, coyotes, or foxes with mange, a disease that causes animals to lose their hair.
"It's never been proven to be a unique species. It was always something out there that allegedly was said to cause harm to people or livestock," Oretego told Crossroads Today.
Jackie's husband caught the "chupacabra" Sunday night. The creature is currently at the Stock residence, peacefully living off of corn and cat food in a cage. Unlike the animal the Stocks found, the legendary chupacabra is usually described as a viscous beast that attacks livestock. The chupacabra has many conflicting descriptions and has never been proven to exist.
"We were just trying to figure out what it is because we've never seen anything like it before," Stock said.
Several people who have seen the video of the chupacabra are sure that it is a hairless raccoon, not a canine.
One Texas resident commented, "If [Ortego] is a state wildlife biologist we're not getting what we pay for. It's very clearly a raccoon. All he had to do was watch five seconds of video to see how the animal used its front paws. No canine has the ability or the long toes that would allow it to do as this animal is doing. "
A rare hairless raccoon found in Vero Beach in 2011 looks a lot like the Stock family's "chupacabra."
Resident Arlen Parma gave his two cents. "I hunted coons for 20 years with dogs and I ain't ever seen anything that looks like that right there." Parma said that raccoon don't growl the way this animal does, but if Parma hunts with dogs, that may be why he's never heard a caged raccoon make that noise.
Chupacabras sightings haunted Mississippi and Texas last year, frightening residents with what appeared to be a dangerous creature. This new chupacabra is comparably tame and conveniently dines on corn and cat food, rather than goats or other livestock. Hopefully wildlife biologists will get a chance to look closely at the Stock's catch soon to determine if it is a sick canine, a rare hairless raccoon, or a new species altogether -- the elusive chupacabra.