‘Chupacabra?’ Muddy footprints left at California park have rangers seeking answers

Photo from Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Mysterious-looking animal tracks left at a California park have rangers asking “what are thoseeee!?”

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) posted a photo of the muddy footprints on Facebook on Monday, Jan. 23, while asking users to weigh in about “what creature left these tracks!?”

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The photo shows oddly shaped footprints with five pointy toes.

The park also gave some hints as to what kind of animal the tracks belonged to, including that the critter is a nocturnal omnivore that “seemingly” washes its food before consumption. The creature, an agile climber, also thrives in urban environments.

“I have five toes on my front and back paws. My forepaws (front “hands”) are particularly dexterous,” the park said.

Users were quick to comment with answers.

Two users chimed in with an answer of “chupacabra,” the “monstrous creature” from Latin American legend that “that attacks animals and consumes their blood,” while another guessed they belonged to Bigfoot.

Others didn’t quite heed the hints about the animal and offered everything from a “dolphin” to “my ex-wife” as possible creatures responsible for the tracks.

Overwhelmingly, though, users said the tracks were those of a raccoon.

“Raccoon. Distinctive tracks without reading the clues,” one user wrote.

Turns out, the masses were correct — the animal that left the tracks was a raccoon, Julian Espinoza, a spokesperson for GGNRA, said in an email to McClatchy News.

“Being that GGNRA is an urban national park, it is not uncommon to seem them at night,” Espinoza said.

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