Why Blood-Drained Carcases are NOT the Work of Chupacabras or Other Supposedly Vampiric Cryptids

Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 19th, 2013

The discovery of supposedly blood-drained animal carcases hit the cryptozoology headlines with monotonous frequency (I noticed yet another one being discussed online just a few days ago), accompanied by the usual (and sometimes decidedly unusual) media speculation as to what diabolical entity could have been responsible for such a hideous, unnatural act. In reality, of course, no such entity – diabolical, vampiric, or otherwise – is responsible, because it is highly unlikely that such carcases really are blood-drained (variously termed desanguinated or exsanguinated). They merely look as if they are, particularly to the pathology-untrained eye, which is a very different matter altogether.

Chupacabra, William Rebsamen

Over the years, many culprits for such unsavoury activity have been proposed – the chupacabra or goatsucker being the favourite identity if said carcases have been discovered in the New World; and various mystery carnivores, such as escapee/released big cats and even the (very) odd absconded far-from-home thylacine, if elsewhere. Ironically, however, the true nature of these carcases has already been investigated, uncovered, and publicly exposed for all to see and read…

Further details can be found here, on my ShukerNature blog.

Karl Shuker About Karl Shuker
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 25 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.

7 Responses to “Why Blood-Drained Carcases are NOT the Work of Chupacabras or Other Supposedly Vampiric Cryptids”

  1. Troodon56 responds:

    I agree that the carcasses are not really exsanguinated, and that there is probably no unknown animal that kills the livestock. However, I do think that Chupacabras are real animals, though. I think that they are probably gigantic predatory iguanid lizards which walk bipedally with erect hind limbs. But I don’t think that they are actually responsible for killing most of the livestock; it is mostly feral dogs who do that. The Chupacabras only get blamed for it.

  2. springheeledjack responds:

    Thank you! With the media, every carcass that someone comes across is mysteriously drained of blood and most likely has had its organs “removed.”

    I was watching an episode of Mountain Monsters (stop judging me…) while they were on the hunt for the “wumpus beast” and two baby pigs were killed and found. One of the shots showed a dead pig with its guts hanging out–which got me to thinking that when the “news” reports similar things, they probably report the organs being removed and it’s nothing more than that. Adding fuel to that fire was the fact that the Mountain Monster “folk” played up the heinous pig slaughter to make the wumpus beast all that more nasty.

    I do understand there are cattle mutilations and occasionally other strange circumstances of animals being dissected and so on, but in the bulk of these situations I doubt there’s as many blood drained animals with their organs stolen as the media likes to report. Otherwise we’d be looking at a large population of blood sucking vampiric creatures running amok…and I do not believe that to be the case at this time. 🙂

  3. volmar responds:

    Chupacabras are folkolore. We should devote our time to real cryptids, not to legends. The problem is that some people want Chupacabras to exist, they’ve made quite a lot of money out of it.

  4. MattPriceTime responds:

    But that doesn’t make sense. Cryptids by very nature are reported by folklore and aren’t scientifically recognized until full documentation. As long as it is reported and is not biologically impossible (biologically absurd is fine but should always be approached with a little more caution) it should be looked into to find what the cause was.

    On the main subject, the news media doesn’t seem to “get” a chupacabras report. A puncture wound causes by a coyote with mange shouldn’t be labeled a chupacabra. A lot of so-called blood drainings not from the original line, aren’t even blood drainings at all.

  5. volmar responds:

    All cryptids are in the folklore, but not everything in the folklore is a cryptid. Chupacabras are only folklore.

  6. Goodfoot responds:

    “Chupacabras are only folklore,” said Volmar, who presented his credentials as a chupacabras-debunker.

    You DID, right? Just a bunch of superstitious, Spanish-jibbering yokels, terrible witness, every one.


  7. corrick responds:

    Karl’s article is spot on target.

    The myths behind cattle mutilations or supposedly blood-drained animal carcases was scientifically explained back in 1984’s, “Mute Evidence”, by Daniel Kagan, and Ian Summers. Radford’s 2011, “Tracking the Chupacabra” then took it to an even higher.

    If you haven’t read either book or both, then welcome to the “reality” world of the Linda Mouten Howe’s, Linda Godfrey’s as well as all the Bigfoot/Monster TV shows where the only reality is about finding money, not about finding truth.

    And no Goodfoot, it’s NOT about “a bunch of superstitious, Spanish-jibbering yokels, terrible witnesses.” It’s much more about pseudoscience making a small number richer and a much larger number dumber.

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