Archive for Coyote
www.nationalgeographic.com 28th October 2010
Tales of the blood-sucking chupacabra spread rapidly throughout Central America, the SW US, and even to China since they were first uttered in Puerto Rico in the mid 1990s. The creature was variously described as canine or bipedal and is said to suck the blood of livestock, particularly goats. However, with the latest ‘specimen’ caught as recently as June, biologists have been able to offer an explanation to the mystery. Almost all of the chupacabras studied have been identified as coyotes with a particularly painful strain of mange that causes severe hair-loss and skin wrinkling. The disease also causes fatigue, which could explain why infected coyotes are attacking the much-easier-to-catch livestock. This explanation does not completely destroy the myth though. When the mystery first surfaced, descriptions of the chupacabra spoke of a bipedal creature about a metre tall with grey hair and spikes running down its spine. Around 200 accounts were received similar to this one in 1995. As the myth spread however, the form changed to that of canine. Other explanations include an escaped group of rhesus monkeys, which often stand on their hind legs, or just local jitters after the release of the alien film Species on the island around the same time.