A Ratcliffe, Texas couple caged what they believed to be a legendary chupacabra. Jackie Stock told KAVU Newscenter 25 that her husband caught the mysterious creature alive on Sunday. "He saw this strange animal sitting up here eating corn," said Stock. “He called me to come and look, and I said, ‘Bubba that looks like a baby chupacabra.’”
The animal had a hairless back, large teeth, and an unusual growl. Some commenters speculated that the creature’s behavior of holding food with its front paws proved it was most likely a hairless raccoon or porcupine. They pointed to a November 2011 Vero News report about Florida’s Vero Beach Animal Control, which caught and identified another mysterious animal as a hairless raccoon. The South Texas creature appeared to have physical characteristics similar to the Florida hairless raccoon.
But Arlen Parma, a fellow Ratcliffe resident, refuted the notion that the Stocks’ animal was a raccoon saying, “You know I hunted coons you know, 20 years with dogs and all that and I ain’t never seen nothing that looks like that right there.” Parma added that the beast had a distinctive growl. “Coon don’t make that noise, or a possum. What makes that noise? I guess the chupacabra does. I don’t know,” Parma told the station.
Wildlife Diversity Biologist Brent Ortego from Texas Parks and Wildlife told KAVU, “The animal in the cage as best I can tell from the view is some form of a small canine.” Ortego believed that it was highly likely the animal suffered from mange, which resulted in the animal’s hair loss. The biologist dismissed the theory that the animal was El Chupacabra and said, “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.”
Since the first story by KAVU aired, the Stocks say people from across the country contacted them with questions about the mysterious creature. Because the Dewitt County Game Warden determined the animalto be a raccoon, on Thursday the couple was given 48 hours to either release the animal or euthanize it, or they would face fines. NBC News reported that on Friday, Mike Cox, spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said, "The land owner left a message on the warden's voice mail this morning that the animal had been euthanized." The spokesman said there would be no further actions taken and, "Our agency does not believe chupacabras exist anywhere but in the imaginations of some."
- Living Nature