|People in the Pineywoods
have embraced the chupacabra
oddity and often joke about it. Last week a sign went up in Crockett
that turned heads and had other scratching thier head. Its vaccination time again
in Houston County and apparently Crockett Veterinary Hospital will vaccinate just
about anything. Even a chupacabra!
2004, when Pollok area residents
shot and killed a hairless, four-legged canine creature under their house, reports
of chupacabra sightings have
been a regular occurrence in the Pineywoods.
The Mexican legend of the chupacabra
has only been circulating for about 15 years, and is believed to originated in
Puerto Rico. Most people who get a look at the bald beast describe the animal
as having blue-gray skin, almost hairless, with mange; a large over bite, giving
the animal a rat-faced appearance with extremely long canine teeth; smaller front
legs than hind legs, and as having a tail similar to a rat. Some say the ghoulish
creature looks like the living dead; a canine zombie.
Mange, also known
as sarcoptes scabiei, is a popular explanation used to explain away the
grotesque beast commonly seen throughout the state. In humans and nonhuman animals
alike, is a condition where mites burrow under the skin of its host and secrete
eggs and waste material, thus triggering an inflammatory response from the immune
system. Such an infestation can be life threatening for canines such as coyotes,
which haven’t evolved especially effective reactions to sarcoptes infection. Some
scientists are suggest parasites created the chupacabra,
transforming canines into the very goat suckers who are on the prowl.
Texans aren’t sure about what exactly the animal is, but some people suspect a
mutation occurred after the 2003 space shuttle crash. A ranch manager in Eastern
Anderson County said he never saw “anything like it until the space shuttle crashed.”
Since the crash the rancher claims he has seen three chupacabras,
which he believes are mutants.
“I’ve seen plenty of mangy coyotes in my
day but none that ever looked that bad,” he said.
Mexican folklore has
passed down the legend of the chupacabra
in several forms. Most popular are the lizard-like being description and the hairless
dog description which is commonly reported in Texas
as well. In Mexican
culture the lizard-like chupacabra
is said to have leathery or scaly, greenish-gray skin and sharp spines running
down its back. The creature is said to be approximately three to four feet tall
and hops like a kangaroo. This Mexican monster has been described as having a
panther or dog-like face with large teeth, and a long, forked tongue. The beast
is said to hiss and screech when angry or alarmed.
word “chupacabra” literally
means goat sucker. The creature so often spotted in Mexico
and Texas is credited with sucking the blood of livestock,
especially goats. The growing legend of the chupacabra
has sparked interest among trained zoologists and amateur enthusiasts. The chupacabra
oddity falls third into the realm of cryptozoology, right behind the two most
famous cryptid creatures Bigfoot and Loch
from witnesses who helped with the Pollok
creature’s autopsy revealed gruesome details about the creature being called a
chupacabra. One woman said there
was almost no blood seeping from the gun shot entry wound on the animal and the
tissue appeared rotted and necrotic.” The woman told reporters in Lufkin
the creature’s ear “broke like a cookie” when its head was moved for a photo and
resembled the carcass of an animal that had been dead for at least a month.
Houston County residents say they witnessed the hideous creature in 2007. The
group said they were at a house located East of Grapeland
when the decrepit critter moseyed up. They had all heard tales of the chupacabra
but no one in the group had ever seen one before. They said it walked into the
yard slowly and sniffed around for awhile. One member of the group left the area
to get a gun because they were not sure of the animal would attack them or other
animals on the property. While he was away the creature left the yard just as
slowly as it had entered and was never seen again.
group’s description of the creature was consistent with the gray, hairless, dog-like
creature with shorter front legs than hind legs, and a rat-like tail.
just sat there and stared at each other and it (the creature). I don’t think any
of us knew what to say. We had all heard of chupacabras
and about the sightings in East Texas,”
said the spokesperson for the group.
all of the group would label the creature a chupacabra,
and one referred to it as a mangy coyote. But one thing the group seemed to agree
on is just how hideous-looking the creature was.
was the ugliest thing I have ever seen,” the spokesperson said, as the rest of
the group nodded in agreement.
sightings have taken place in some of the most remote settings in East
Texas, but within highly traveled areas are not strangers to sightings. In
recent years, one of the creatures was spotted in a Nacogdoches
neighborhood, in a resident’s back yard.
East Texans have yet to report
an attack on a human by a chupacabra,
the blood sucking, vampire beast. However, East
Texas residents say the creature is reportedly fond of goats, chickens and
other small animals. Sightings of the creature happen on a fairly regular basis,
although not all sightings get reported to Texas Parks and Wildlife. It appears
that East Texans are getting used to seeing the creatures, despite the fact there
is no official explanation for the creature’s existence or demise, however you
might view it.
If you or someone you know has seen a creature that resembles
the description of a chupacabra
please contact our team at MYETX.com. We are always interested in the strange
and unusual in East Texas and want
to see your photos and videos and hear your reports. Email us your reports, sightings,
photos and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org!
© Dana Goolsby
The Pines With Dana Goolsby"
September 30, 2011 Column
Ghosts & Legendary Creatures
from Texas' Past | East Texas