Wednesday, July 23, 2008

MONSTER QUEST: Chupacabra

History Channel - Original Air Date: July 23, 2008

Something strange is killing animals on ranches in Texas.  Monster Quest follows the mystery from Puerto Rico to the US, and conducts a battery of tests, looking for answers.  US witnesses describe a cross between a canine and a kangaroo, with razor-sharp fangs.  One rancher notices that something is killing her chickens, but not taking the bodies -- though the birds were emptied of blood.  And, eventually, she finds a road-kill body.  Chupacabras reports originated in Puerto Rico in 1995, but the creatures there were described differently than the Texas creature: in Puerto Rico, the chupacabra is a two-legged gargoyle with red eyes.  In Elmendorf, TX, rancher Devin McNally was losing chickens to chupacabras, up to 30 birds at a time.  McNally noticed a strange creature lurking around, but every time he went to fetch his gun, it would vanish.  So, he left a gun out, for the next time, and when he saw it again, he shot the creature dead.  Photos taken at the time show a strange gray creature with elephant-like skin and sharp teeth about the size of a medium-sized dog. McNally kept the bones, and a molar is sent for analysis.  Meanwhile, the show's experts decide to set a series of traps for the monster.  In Puerto Rico, hair samples are found from a chupacabra "nest."  The hair is also sent for analysis.  Suspicions are that the PR chupacabras may be rhesus monkeys.

Samples from the road-kill chupacabra are sent for analysis, while -- elsewhere on that woman's ranch -- the usual camera traps and a live cage trap are set up.  In 2005, two men found an odd, smoky gray creature under their house and shot it.  Photos show a strange hairless canine with crusty skin and huge teeth.  Some people have suggested that these Texas chupacabras may be dogs, coyotes, or wolves with mange.  One expert, examining photos, says that if it is mange, it's the wost she's ever seen.  The Puerto Rico hair samples turn up to be those of a dog -- perhaps a sick or unknown canine?  The Texas hair sample is also from a dog, and DNA testing proves some hair and (and the tooth) to be from dog, other hairs from coyote.  Skull measurements prove that the Elmendorf canine tooth is too large for a dog, too small for a coyote.  Based on photos and skeleton the expert suggests the animal is coyote, dog, fox, or perhaps coyote-dog hybrid.  The skin samples are, unfortunately, not good enough to test conclusively for mange.  All the traps, scents, animal calls, and cameras yield are a rabbit, some possums, and an armadillo.  A creature that mysteriously scratched a scented fence post goes uncaptured on camera.  Yet another strange, hairless body turns up.  Could this be the thing that scratched the post?  Alas, we may never know.  Though the testing proves that all the samples are from dogs or other canines, the witnesses remain unconvinced.  They insist that what they saw were the strangest animals they had ever seen.

2 comments:

Joe Palermo said...

Hello! Joe Palermo, official videographer on the 1996 Puerto Rico expedition here. The MonsterQuest Chupacabras show surprise for me was that the hair samples Marc and I collected are supposed to have the exact same DNA markers as the tooth from one of the Texas cases some 12 years later. For the complete Puerto Rico story, go to
www.its-dms.com/elchupacabras.htm

coffee said...

out of all the mythical, blood sucking creatures out there, the Chupacabra is almost certainly the sneakiest