RATCLIFFE, Texas (KABC) -- A Texas family claims they've captured the elusive "chupacabra," a mythical creature that supposedly attacks livestock.
According to legend, chupacabras suck the blood of cows and goats. Although there's never been real evidence the creature exists, sightings of chupacabras have been reported from Latin America to the southern U.S.
In the back woods of Ratcliffe, a small town in DeWitt County in South Texas, residents are certain they've found the mythical, despicable chupacabra, and this time, it's alive.
Jackie Stock said her husband caught the creature Sunday night.
"He called me to come and look, and I said, 'Bubba, that looks like a baby chupacabra,'" said Stock.
With its hairless back, large claws, countless teeth and ferocious growl, many would say this animal fits the bill.
"I hunted coons for 20 years with dogs and I ain't never seen nothing looks like that right there," said Arlen Parma, who captured the critter.
Parma said one of the biggest signs it's not a raccoon is its growl.
"A coon don't make that noise, or a possum. What makes that noise? I guess a chupacabra does, I don't know," said Parma.
Most people in DeWitt County are convinced this is the elusive chupacabra, but what do wildlife experts have to say?
"The animal in the cage as best I can tell from the view was some sort of a small canine," said Brent Ortego, a wildlife diversity biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Ortego said a canine can include a coyote, dog, or even a fox. He said the animal most likely has mange, which has caused it to lose its hair. But as for a chupacabra, he thinks otherwise.
"It's never been proven to be a unique species. It was always something out there that allegedly either caused harm or threatened to cause harm to people or their livestock," said Ortego.
Chupacabra or not, right now this little guy is staying at the Stock household, living off a diet of cat food and corn, at least until someone can find out what it really is.
CNN contributed to this report.
The Huffington Post | by David Moye
A couple in Ratcliffe, Texas who captured what they believed was a living chupacabra has had the creature euthanized.
Last week, Jackie and Bubba Strong saw the strange-looking animal eating corn in a tree and trapped it a cage.
The animal had a hairless back, large claws, lot of teeth and ferocious growl. Jackie decided it resembled the legendary "chupacabras" thought to attack and vampirize livestock in Latin America.
She named the creature "Chupie" and fed it corn and cat food for a few days.
On Friday, the couple made the decision to have a local animal shelter put "Chupie" to rest after a DeWitt County game warden said the animal appeared to have scabies, a contagious disease.
The Strongs plan to have "Chupie" stuffed by a taxidermist and sell his carcass online.
Although the news of the alleged chupacabra capture attracted worldwide attention, game warden Rex Mays told the Victoria Advocate that the truth is a lot less mystical.
"To me, it looked like a raccoon with severe mange," Mays told the newspaper. "It looks like a raccoon to me."
Ben Radford, a science-based paranormal investigator, goes along with the raccoon hypothesis. He says one look at the creature's mouth proves that it is physically impossible for the animals to suck blood.
"The mouth and jaw structures of raccoons, dogs and coyotes prevent them from creating a seal around their victims, and, therefore, physically prevents them from sucking the blood out of goats or anything else," he wrote on LIveScience.com. "This Ratcliffe chupacabra was not seen nor videotaped sucking blood from anything."
Source and special thanks: The Huffington Post
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The following was posted from a 2011 case from the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County of a hairless raccoon. This appears to be the creature above.
Special thanks to Black Vault follower Greg Boone on Facebook for contributing this photo.
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|Where did this happen?||DeWitt County in South Texas|