This “Chupacabras” Is No Mystery

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 27th, 2007

Frankly, I get so tired of these Texas (and other states’) “chupacabra” stories, that these annual versions of the Chupacabras have become non-mysteries. I figured my Cryptomundo-mate Craig would post on his home state’s latest, and he has here, a few moments ago.

It’s hot, the season is right, and “they” have turned up for years now. This latest one looks like a coyote, perhaps a fox, with mange.

Mange is a parasitic infestation of the skin caused by mites. Mange comes in two forms, red mange (not generally contagious) and sarcoptic mange. Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious infestation of Sarcoptes scabiei canis, a burrowing mite. (Yes, the thought is creepy.) The canine sarcoptic mite is not a good neighbor, and can also infest you and your cats, as well as other contacted mammals, whether they are wild or domestic.

Ugh. It’s that time of a year again, when the mange causes sick dogs, coyotes, and foxes (canids all) to be called “Chupacabra” by Anglo reporters. While Craig correctly entitled his blog “Chupacabras,” you can see once again, the media used “Chupacabra.”

But it’s Chupacabras (singular and plural). What wrong with these Texas reporters?

Chupacabras: It’s sort of like Jennifer Lopez, kind of cross-cultural. – Loren Coleman, as quoted by ABC News, 1999.

The ‘Chupacabra’ usage really gets my goat — pun much intended! To say chupacabra is to imply that the entity is ‘the sucker of a single goat.’ Chupacabras is ‘the sucker of goats,’ which was meant by the original nomenclature. Perhaps English speakers feel that a false plural is being formed and they resort to ‘s’ removal. Fortunately the singular/plural issue is resolved–in Spanish–by a ‘definite article’ placed in front of the noun (el, la, los, las, lo):
One single chupacabras: ‘El Chupacabras’
A troupe of the things: ‘Los Chupacabras’
If female: ‘La Chupacabras’
A cluster of females: ‘Las Chupacabras’
So the word ‘Chupacabras’ remains intact — no need to amputate the final ‘s’! – Hispanic cryptozoologist Scott Corrales

Is your skin itching yet?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

14 Responses to “This “Chupacabras” Is No Mystery”

  1. harleyb responds:

    That was a darn good Quote, Loren. But J-lo looks a lot prettier than the Chupacabras. Those dudes look wicked, wild.

  2. twblack responds:

    My skin is on fire just thinking about it.

  3. SeiferTim responds:

    It’s similar to the word “Ninja” that everyone pluralizes incorrectly… the Plural form of “Ninja” is “Ninja”… you would say “A group of Ninja”… It drives me nuts when people arbitrarily stick an “s” on the end.

  4. Lykaon responds:

    Last week you also commented on my blog about Chupacabras, correcting my incorrect spelling of the word.

    I now read this and come to a sudden realization of why I spelled it wrong.

    That’s right, I’m from Texas. It was years of cultural brainwashing that led me to do it!!

    It’s also pretty ironic that Texans so often spell it wrong considering the pervasiveness of the Spanish language in the part of the country.

    Not that I’m saying I’m not proud to be a Texan. By mandate, I have to be proud of being Texan.

    But I’m never proud to see my state embarass itself.

  5. Richard888 responds:

    Okay, so these animals are coyotes with mange. But what about this statement?

    “It has short front legs and longer back legs. The paws on the front are different than the ones on the back, and it has no hair. The nose is very long. The tip of the nose is longer than the lower jaw, and the front teeth stick out, almost like fangs.”

  6. Ole Bub responds:

    Good morning Cryptos…

    Looks like a dawg/coyote/fox hybrid with severe mange to us…not many goat suckers in Texas…the squatch thin them out…JMHO

    live and let live…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  7. raisinsofwrath responds:

    Loren, I’ve had my fill of these Chup’s as well. Of all the currently popular cryptids, Chupacabra has to be the most ridiculous.

  8. DARHOP responds:

    raisinsofwrath responds:
    July 27th, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Loren, I’ve had my fill of these Chup’s as well. Of all the currently popular cryptids, Chupacabra has to be the most ridiculous.

    I think Loren is tired of the Spelling, not the reports. Is that right Loren?

  9. DARHOP responds:

    And you did it again raisinsofwrath.

    It is spelled Chupacabras with an s.

  10. Loren Coleman responds:

    Of course it is more than the spelling…as I say in this blog. It’s about how every summer (in recent years) candids with mange are turned into Chupacabras. I’m tired of those non-stories, with the similarly pictured dog-like dead animals.

    All reporters in the southwestern and southern USA should have a crash course in mange annually, in May or June. These “journalists” look silly to the rest of the world, and I would think especially to vets and to the true eyewitnesses in Hispanic America of the actual Chupacabras.

  11. shumway10973 responds:

    I think the worst thing about the reports of chupacabras in Texas is that they had the culprit in their hands and called it “a coyote with mange”. Richard888 pointed out the obvious with his quote about the size difference of legs. Also, as you read the article the eyewitness said that there was little to no blood minutes after being shot. This is no coyote. Not to mention, there is a bit of difference between front and back legs.

  12. CryptoInformant responds:

    Oh, this brings back memories…
    A few years back, someone who is very belligerent towards CZ heard me commenting on Chupacabras, and said, “Why don’t you go play with your Aguacabra?” which, aside from sounding ridiculous, actually means “goat-water”. Now, I was in no mood to play with goat-water, and told him so. After the severe mistake in wording was revealed, it was Mister Belligerent Bum who ended up looking foolish, and not I, as he had intended.

  13. Alligator responds:

    Loren is absolutely right. The press keeps throwing foxes, dogs, coyote and coyote-dog hybrids out and calling them chupacabras. Reporters really don’t know or recognize wild animals at all, even domestic ones with health problems. When they run these stories, they are really poking fun at people who reasonably believe there may be some unknown and unexplained animals out there.

    “It has short front legs and longer back legs. The paws on the front are different than the ones on the back, and it has no hair. The nose is very long. The tip of the nose is longer than the lower jaw, and the front teeth stick out, almost like fangs.”

    This animals front legs are folded back. One looks like they might even be broken.

    The shoulders are hunched, a death posture when rigor sets in a with a canid.

    The belly is distended from bloating, pushing the hind legs straight back, making them look longer.

    Add the three up and you have short front legs and long back legs. Most canid front legs are just a bit shorter than the back ones anyway.

    Front and back paws look different? Look at any dog tracks in the mud. They are indeed different. Same with bears, same with bobcats, raccoons, opossums etc. etc. etc.

    No hair. Mange can completely denude an animal. The nose is longer than the bottom jaw? Sharp fangs? Well, they are that in a normal, healthy canid. Everything is not even and equally proportioned. One eye is slightly higher than the other – wait maybe that’s a chupa trait! People just do not realize how much a fur bearing animals’ appearance changes without its hair! I’ve seen and handled mange infected red foxes and coyotes. THEY LOOK JUST LIKE THE ANIMALS IN THESE PICTURES!

    Somewhere here, the witness said the animal did not bleed after he shot it. I see blood smear on the brown wrapping paper in the photograph. I’ve seen plenty of gunshot animals that did not bleed profusely. We’ve seen so many violent movies where blood splatter and buckets of blood from a wound are the norm and in real life it doesn’t always happen that way. A lot of factors will determine if and how much blood is evident.

    I may sound frustrated and I guess I am. Folks need to use some logical deductive reasoning with some of these reports and maybe learn a little biology. These stories are red herrings. Listen to Loren on this one!

  14. Rillo777 responds:

    Frankly, I’ve always been skeptical about the whole chupacabras thing. The reports seem to very wildly, with some having wings, some walking upright, some no wings, some on all fours, some with spikes along the back, some with no spikes, red glowing eyes, green eyes, yellow eyes…etc.

    Throw in all the mangy critter reports and I think you’ve got a wild tale that has grown in every direction imaginable. If there is something to it then you have a lot of different creatures hiding under the chupacabras umbrella–or you have just a bunch of wild stories.

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