It is one ugly creature,” (Phylis) Canion said, holding the head of the mammal, which has big ears, large fanged teeth and grayish-blue, mostly hairless skin.
Canion and some of her neighbors discovered the 40-pound bodies of three of the animals over four days in July outside her ranch in Cuero, 80 miles southeast of San Antonio. Canion said she saved the head of the one she found so she can get to get to the bottom of its ancestry through DNA testing and then mount it for posterity.
She suspects, as have many rural denizens over the years, that a chupacabra may have killed as many as 26 of her chickens in the past couple of years.
“I’ve seen a lot of nasty stuff. I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said.
What tipped Canion to the possibility that this was no ugly coyote, but perhaps the vampire-like beast, is that the chickens weren’t eaten or carried off â€” all the blood was drained from them, she said.
Chupacabra means “goat sucker” in Spanish, and it is said to have originated in Latin America, specifically Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Canion thinks recent heavy rains ran them right out of their dens.
This legendary monster of the Hispanic New World must have arisen in recent stories as the result of vague memories, featuring only the name itself, of medieval legends of the Caprimulgidae, i.e. “goatsuckers”, birds of the category including Whip-Poor-Wills, Nightjars, and Nighthawks, nocturnal insectivores with wide and hairy mouths, supposedly making nightly visits to drink surreptitiously the milk of farmers’ goats. The modern Spanish goatsucker is a more alarming creature, not merely an economic menace stealing milk, but a vampiric drinker of blood.
Follow-up (11/6): DNA Testing Shows That It Was a Coyote.