There’s a lot of fuss being made in the news over a raccoon with the mange this week. A Texas couple that is currently holding the poor, diseased creature in a cage believes they’ve caught an elusive Chupacabra. Even more unbelievable, several major new stations have jumped on the story, with some even sending news crews out to film the “creature” and interview the couple and their neighbors.
CNN reports that Ratcliffe resident Bubba Stock captured the odd-looking animal on his property Sunday night.
Stock's wife, Jackie, said, “He called me to come and look, and I said, ‘That looks like a baby Chupacabra.”
Legends claim the mythical Chupacabra kills goats and other livestock. In fact, the name "Chupacabra" literally means "goat-sucker." Although it’s never been proven to exist, many people have claimed to see the Chupacabra, which has been given various descriptions.
Truth is, most Chupacabra sightings can be attributed to animals, such as coyotes, dogs, foxes and raccoons, infected with the mange -- a skin disease caused by parasitic mites, which can result in an animal losing the majority of its hair.
The hairless animal in the video does look odd. What bald raccoon wouldn’t?
But, neighbor Arlen Parma (who is mislabeled as Bubba Stock in the video) is not convinced it is a raccoon.
“You know, I hunted raccoons for twenty years with dogs and all that, and I’ve never seen anything that looks like that right there,” Parma said.
Parma said another reason he knows it’s not a raccoon is because of its growl.
“A raccoon don’t make that noise, or a possum.”
Um, yes it does. In fact, you might growl too if you were sick, naked and in a cage surrounded by crowds of people with video cameras pointing at you.
Brent Ortego, wildlife diversity biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, isn’t buying the Chupacabra possibility either.
“The animal in the cage as best I can tell from the view is some sort of a small canine,” Ortego said.
I’m assuming Ortego only saw a picture of the animal and didn’t watch the video footage. If he had, he would have observed the animal picking up the food with its front paws, which canines do not do.
But, he is correct when he said the animal most likely has mange.
So, what do you think about all of the fuss being made over this supposed Chupacabra?
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Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.