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Chupacabra: the 'Goat Sucker' of Puerto Rico

In 1995, farm animals and pets on the island of Puerto Rico started to turn up dead, each with a small puncture wound on its body and completely drained of blood; some were missing internal organs as well. There was rarely signs of a struggle, and the areas and bodies showed no signs of the missing blood. At first it was thought these crimes were committed by a cult; but soon people started to see the thing that was killing the animals, and it was given a name made up just for it... Chupacabra, Spanish for “Goat Sucker.”

        Puerto Rico is an island largely covered with dense jungles, and the Chupacabra could easily hide in these jungles. The creature — or creatures, as there may have been more than one — was not shy, and was seen by multiple witnesses during daytime hours at short distances as it explored towns and attacked animals. The creature was about 3 to 4 feet tall and covered with coarse brown hair, with a powerfully built lower body and weak looking upper half, a bit like a tail-less kangaroo. It had spines running down its back that it could lower or raise, and its feet and hands were three-fingered claws. It had a slit for a mouth, small ear holes, and two nostril holes in place of a nose. The eyes were said to be huge and pupilless, colored grey during the day but red at night... and, some said, were able to emit a red light.

        Overall, the face of this monster was very similar to that reported for the creatures seen worldwide and known as “Grays,” believed to be alien visitors from outer space... and there may be a reason for this similarity. During the period of time the Chupacabra was attacking animals, people throughout Puerto Rico were also seeing strange lights and objects in the sky, phenomena commonly believed to be sightings of spaceships from another world. Not surprisingly, many believe the Chupacabra also came from another world.

Otherworldly Talents?

        The Chupacabra displayed some distinctly supernatural abilities. It has been seen to run at fantastic speeds, jump fences easily, and even to levitate in the air, all while the spines on its back changed to every color of the rainbow. Several people who saw the creature jump or fly described it as appearing as if the monster was jerked up into the air by unseen wires. On January 4, 1996, José Miguel Agosto and his wife’s uncle watched as the Chupacabra levitated 25 feet in the air above them for a minute before vanishing from sight.

        It is also said that the Chupacabra could emit a terrible odor. Madelyne Tolentino drove too close to the creature on the night of January 4, 1996, and felt her throat go numb from the acrid scent in the air; her two-year old began to choke and cough, so she drove away. It is believed this odor was used to paralyze prey before the monster sucked them dry, possibly explaining the lack of a struggle the prey put up.

        The Chupacabra not only attacked goats; it also killed chickens, dogs, cats, and rats. On May 11, 1995, the beast was spotted by many people at a bus stop in the barrio of Santurce in the city of San Juan, apparently eating a rat. A police officer armed with a truncheon tried to subdue the Chupacabra, but after a brief struggle the creature escaped by flying straight up into the air, taking the officer’s truncheon with it.

        Given the sheer number of people who claimed to have encountered the Chupacabra in Puerto Rico, it’s little wonder that an attempt by the country‘s government to calm the panic by stating the killings were all caused by wild dogs met with little support.

Chupacabra Confusions

        Despite the lack of new Chupacabra activity in Puerto Rico after 1998, the media fame of the Chupacabra has led to strange animal deaths worldwide being attributed to the beast. The majority of these new reports come from Mexico and the Southern portion of the United States. Farmers in these areas have had a history of animals being drained of blood and strangely mutilated... and, since they know this is caused in Puerto Rico by the Chupacabra, they assume that the same creature is killing their animals. But there is a difference; the creatures being sighted in Central America are distinctly dog-like in appearance.

        This has led to an interesting confusion in the popular idea of the Chupacabra in most countries other than Puerto Rico... the beast now tends to be described as dog-like rather than alien-like, and associations of the original Chupacabra with strange lights in the skies are no longer mentioned. This may be because the canine monster sounds more scientifically real than the original Puerto Rican mystery monster. But make no mistakes: these are very different monsters... and even if the “Chupacabra” that are being reported in other parts of the world turn out to be real creatures, it will still tell the world nothing about the strange creature that killed animals in Puerto Rico in the 1990’s.