The Goat Sucker: Fact or Legend?
Folklore regarding El Chupacabra – a name which means goat sucker – goes back many years. However the modern chupacabra era probably began in 1975 with the arrival in Puerto Rico of the “Moca Vampire”.
The Moca Vampire
1975 saw a wave of UFO sightings across Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean region. Coinciding with this a large number of Puerto Rican farmers reported unexplained animal killings – everything from ducks to cows and, of course, goats. The animals had reportedly been cut open and their blood removed. The first reports of this strange phenomenon came from the town of Moca, hence the name Moca Vampire (“El Vampire de Moco”).
Various explanations have been put forward for the Moca Vampire, everything from alien mutation of cattle to escaped crocodiles! Whatever the explanation, as the UFO flap died down so did the animal attacks.
Enter the Chupacabra
After a period of quiet, the cattle mutilations began again in Puerto Rico during the early nineteen-nineties. This time there was no convenient wave of UFOs to provide an easy explanation.
Once again animals were being killed and their blood removed. This time it seemed to be mainly goats that were being targetted, hence the name “goat sucker”.
An important difference from twenty years earlier was that this time there were witnesses, people who claimed to have seen the chupacubra. It has been called a “living gargoyle”. Most witnesses describe a weird bipedal creature about four feet tall, somewhat lizardlike with grey skin or scales down its back. It also has large eyes and excellent night vision. The similarity between this description and the standard image of the “Grey” alien is striking, adding fuel to the extra-terrestrial hypothesis.
Over the next couple of years, sightings of the creature spread out from Puerto Rico across Mexico and much of Central America. Exact figures are difficult to come by but it is estimated that several thousand animal deaths have been attributed to the goatsucker.
In 2000, the BBC reported that a Nicaraguan farmer claimed to have shot a chupacabra and to have later found the remains. Zoologists examined the creature and declared it a dog, however the farmer, Jose Luis Talavera, rejected this insisting that he shot and killed a chupacabra.
More recently – summer 2004 – a farmer in Elmendorf shot and killed an unusual creature. Some people have suggested that the Elmendorf Beast might be a chupacabra.
What is the Chupacabra?
To a cryptozoologist, chupacabras – if they exist at all – are unknown creatures. It would be nice to think that they are a previously undiscovered, monstrous species, possibly some form of surviving dinosaur. More probable is that they are some form of Alien Big Cat (ABC). “Alien” in this sense simply means out of place rather than from another world! Illegally imported panthers are one hypothesis.
Of course there are other possible explanations. Some people still hold to the UFO cattle mutilation idea. Others think that the cupacubra is an alien creature released – accidentally or deliberately – by the UFO visitors in the nineteen seventies. Still others believe it to be the result of some stramge genetic experiment that escaped from a research laboratory.
Unless and until a goat sucker is caught, we’ll probably never know.