The Great Bloodsucker El Chupacabra

Chupacabra Haiku

What for art thou Chupacabra?

Imagine you’re a typical farmer on the small and beautiful tropical island of Puerto Rico. You’re probably of Hispanic heritage, speak Spanish, and are Catholic. Like any other farmer you wake up early and soon after breakfast it’s off to work. You spend most of the day feeding and taking care of your livestock, after all they are your livelihood. After a busy day you retire early for some well earned sleep. But your precious sleep is interrupted in the middle of the night by the alarmed sounds of your livestock. Quickly you spring up, grab your rifle, and run outside assuming a coyote or other such creature must be attacking your animals. But by the time you reach your livestock whatever was attacking them is gone and you’re horrified by the sight now before your eyes. Your animals lay dead seemingly unharmed. A closer inspection reveals two punture in wounds in their throats and their bodies are drained of almost all blood. Before you’re even sure what to do next you jump up startled by a high pitched screeching sound coming from the nearby forest. Terrified, you raise your gun and fire off several shots into the forest. As the echoes of the gunshots give way to silence you stand not daring to breath your gun still raised towards the forest while shaking ever so slightly. Hardly a minute later you hear another unearthly screech now much further away, whatever had caused it must be capable of great speed. Slowly you lower your gun, your heart still racing.

What was it that killed your livestock? Considering the above story odds are it was the Chupacabra, a famed Cryptid with an appetite for blood. The name comes from the Spanish words chupa (sucks) & cabra (goats) due to the Chupacabras appetite for goats. However, the animal also eats chickens, pigs, and any other medium to small mammal. The creature first hit the national media in the mid 1990’s after a sighting of the creature and reported sightings continued as a slew of dead livestock, drained of most blood, were found spread out over the island. Legends of such a creature however actually span back by decades, and the creature along with its sightings have apparently migrated mainly to America and Mexico. As for the creatures appearance most “eye witnesses” describe the cryptid as a humanoid 3-5 foot (1-1.5 meters) tall bipedal creature with strong kangaroo like legs which allows it to leap around 20 feet (6 meters), three claws on its hands & feet, roundish face with huge red eyes, two large protruding fangs, and a thin laying of fur allowing the skin to of the animal to easily be seen. There are conflicting reports about the creatures skin; some people claim it has grayish wrinkled skin, others say the skin is reptilian, and still others say it’s spotted. These conflicts could from a number of reasons such as the creature only being spotted in the dead of night making it difficult to get a good look, it the creature is real it could also be caused by variations between individuals of the species such as different breeds. Although most reports of sightings don’t seem to mention any sounds the creature makes some have said the Chupacabra screeches.

A minority of eye witness accounts claim the Chupacabra can change it’s colors like a chameleon, has wings, can induce nausea with a glance, and/or has a sulfur like smell. Also, recent sightings of the Chupacabra describe the creature as more canine-like than humanoid which is probably due to recent confusion between this creature and certain canines (see below for details).

Could ye be real oh creature of the night?

To determine whether or not a creature is real first it must be determined if the creature could be real. The best way to figure out if an animal could be real is to see if other animals possess some of the same attributes and if all the potential attributes are possible without counteracting each other, only then the creature could feasibly be real. However this is by no means a foolproof method as animals constantly surprise scientists (such as an egg laying mammal  or a flying mammal), but it is a good place to start. The supposed qualities of the Chupacabra are:

  • A diet consisting entirely of blood.
  • Strong hind-legs allowing it leap at least 20 feet.
  • Smells of sulfur.
  • Wings & Flight.
  • Chameleon like camouflage.
  • Nausea inducing ability.

Now of course I’ve left off of the above list all the supposed qualities which are obviously possible such as having fur, fangs, and being bipedal. Meaning first I shall bring up the Chupacabras diet; or in other words can a creature survive just by consuming blood? If course it can! Blood carries everything we need to live throughout our body to and from our organs, so of course a creature designed correctly can survive off a diet of blood. In fact I’m sure you’re probably thinking of vampire bats or perhaps mosquitoes right now. Next up is the Chupacabras amazing jumping capability, and to prove that’s possible we need look no further than kangaroos. The Red Kangaroo standing at 3.25-5.25 feet (1-1.6 meters) is similar in height to the Chupacabra. Due to its strong hind legs the Red Kangaroo is also capable of speeds of over 35 miles (56 kilometers) per hour, can cover distances of 25 feet (8 meters) with a single leap, and can leap up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) straight into the air! That’s impressive and if the strong hind-legs of the Red Kangaroo allow it to do all that than I see no reason why the strong hind-legs of the Chupacabra wouldn’t enable it to pull off similarly impressive feats. Next on the list is the demonic in nature claim that the Chupacabra smells of sulfur. this claim is actually quite easy to explain away by applying some simple logic. If a creature often described as monstrous is sighted multiple times in a Country where over 90% of its people are Christian then someone is inevitably going to think, even if just subconsciously, demon. And if there is a smell associated with this creature in this Country than it’s not hard to imagine how when trying to describe the smell the first thing that may pop into someones mind would be sulfur. Or perhaps while rumors of this creature are passed by word of mouth the description of the creatures smell could easily be changed to that of resembling sulfur. So all that leads to the question, does the Chupacabra leave an unpleasant smell in its wake? Probably and the reason is due to its diet. Blood is a liquid and creatures which thrive off blood need to have a fast metabolism to filter all the nutrients out of the blood, which naturally leaves behind a lot of liquid. So much in fact that Vampire Bats begin urinating right after they start drinking blood, and since the Chupacabra also drinks blood it probably also urinates while doing so, which of course could easily account for the unpleasant smell.

Now we reach the final abilities which I believe the Chupacabra, if real, doesn’t possess. These potential abilities are claimed by only a minority of the “eyewitnesses”. Such as the Chupacabra being capable of flight, with some even claiming the creature has wings. I find it odd that only a minority of “eye witnesses” claim the creature has wings. Certainly a feature as prominent as wings would be noticed more often. Even considering that the creature is spotted at night certainly the Chupacabra would use wings, if it had any, to help it flee from humans. With the Chupacabras amazing hind-legs and jumping ability it’s easy to imagine looking around and seeing a Chupacabra seemingly flying through the air after jumping. Thus the panicked person later tells others the creature could fly which gives rise to the rumor that the creature has wings as well.

The final two rarely claimed “abilities” of the Chupacabra I find absurd. They would be that the animal can change colors like a chameleon and the other is that the animal can induce nausea just by looking at you. The chameleon claim is absurd since the creature is only seen at night. How could you even get a good enough look at it to see it clearly changing colors. Also, why would a nocturnal animal need to possess the ability to be colorful. The nausea claim is infantility simple to explain. It’s the middle of the night, your hearts pounding so hard it feels like it’s going to explode, and your slowly approaching a monstrous being from behind which is sucking the life from say your goat. Suddenly the creatures turns to look at you and a wave of fear and anxiety washes over you. Some people when anxious also feel nauseous and that’s the simple explanation behind the final claim about this Legendary Animal’s abilities.

Could ye be merely a Coyote in Chupacabras clothing?

I’ve went over the Chupacabras characteristics and it seems completely feasible that such a creature could exist. But if this animal doesn’t exist than what explains its sighting? What other animal might this creature be? I’m assuming of course that this creature and its sighting must be an animal of some sort but I am aware of the other possibilities which are worth at least a mention. Some believe the Chupacabra to be an elaborate prank, the escaped or abandoned pet of an alien, while still others believe it to be an escaped genetic experiment… Now I do like to keep an open mind however, to put it tactfully, most would consider the following explanation to be the most probable.

This fourth explanation is that the Chupacabra is nothing more than a Coyote or similar canine with mange, also known as Scabies in humans. When a Coyote has mange its hair will fall out, its skin shrivel, and it can make its victim fatigued. Many scientists believe this explains the Chupacabra legend and you can read more about it in this Nat Geo Article. That Article does an excellent job explaining the mange coyote theory but to recap, a canine with mange would, due to being fatigued, probably go after livestock since they’re easier prey and the Chupacabra has in recent times been more described as a canine like creature rather than bipedal by the media and apparent “witnesses”. If the Chupacabra is real than this is clearly a mistake and a misrepresentation by the media causing false sighting and making such sighting worse by giving them needless attention. There are holes in the ‘Mange Theory’ as I hereby shall refer to it. It is a fact that livestock has been killed and its blood drained. Although a canine may decide to go after livestock as easier prey when stricken with mange that canine would still eat its prey and not drink or drain the preys blood. Even if recent confusion has caused false sightings of the Chubacabra it certainly doesn’t invalidate the many sighting of it over the years in which it was described as a bipedal creature. I believe the Mange Theory is a semi-plausible explanation but it doesn’t fully satisfy all the mysteries surrounding this Legendary Animal.

And now alas my opinion must be revealed.

I believe the Chupacabra is real. Although this article has already outlined the Chupacabras features and characteristics there are still a few more things worth mentioning. The animal probably has a fast metabolism and taking that into consideration it will probably starve quickly without food and would need need a lot to sustain itself, which explains why such a large number of livestock is sometimes found dead. Others might think the large number of deaths indicate that the creature may hunt in packs but I doubt that since I couldn’t find a sighting of multiple Chupacabras, thus indicating that the creature is most likely solitary in nature. Also, like other creatures which drink blood, the Chupacabras saliva almost certainly contains something to stop its preys blood from clotting.

Although some describe the creature as monstrous I don’t think of the creature like that at all. Since there’s been no attacks on humans I think it’s probably a very timid and shy creature who just wants to live its life in peace. It may kill a lot when it goes hunting but it just eats what it needs to sustain itself which is obviously a lot more than a bloodsucking bat or insect would need. I’m certain the Chupacabra is well loved by scavengers, like coyotes, for the meat it leaves behind in the wild. Plus decomposing carcasses are good for the soil. So the Chupacabra is just playing its part in keeping nature balanced like all other animals. With its strong hind-legs it’s certainly a fast and agile creature which explains how it has eluded capture and sightings so well. It may also explain the creatures apparent migration into more areas of the world which may have been brought about by increased human intrusion into its natural habitat. Since the sounds this creature makes aren’t mentioned often except for the occasional screech it’s possible the creatures sounds are mostly too high for human hearing, but that’s pure speculation and it might be that the animal is just a quiet creature by nature. I also believe the Chupacabra is a mammal since most reptiles are cold blooded and thus not as active at night.

And so that’s my take on the Legendary Animal known as the Chupacabra. Please let me know what you think in the comments and below I’ve added some links to useful information and resources:

The How Stuff Works Chupacabra article which has several more useful links at the end.

Learn more about Puerto Rico here.

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