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Kentucky Biologist Says Dead Chupacabra Identified as Hairless Raccoon

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

When is a “chupacabra” not a “chupacabra”? When it’s a raccoon – or, more specifically, a bizarre-looking, hairless and rare raccoon that’s taken weeks to identify and previously suspected to be the (what scientists call “mythical”) “chupacabra”.

Biologists now confirm that a hairless animal, shot and photographed by a Kentucky man in Nelson County two weeks ago, is not a chupacabra.

The killed animal’s anatomy now confirms – according to biologists -- that the strange-looking and dead animal is actually a raccoon, of sorts, sans the hair. Just as the hairless, Rex cat breed is definitely unique in appearance – scientists claim the absence of hair can disguise more than one animal: Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is calling the dead creature a “hairless raccoon”.

There’s been talk of the “ chupacabra,” and mystery surrounding existence of such a creature, for over fifteen years -- since 1995. People have claimed actual “chupacabra “ sightings throughout the United States, especially from Texas to Maine. The legend of the animal depicts the dog-like creature to be somewhat in line with a vampire – supposedly the animal attacks livestock, bleeding the attacked creatures of their blood. “Chupacabras”, as the claim goes, have a favorite meal of goats.

Biologists say the “chupacabra” does not exist – that the most recent ‘finding’ has been analyzed including anatomical reports: "It's [the recently shot animal now identified as a “hairless raccoon”] definitely a hideous creature. There's just no way around it. Without that fur [of a standard raccoon] it gives it a whole new appearance as to what it [the animal] is," claims wildlife biologist Steven Dobey.

Kentucky’s seen the bizarre-looking creature prior, though it’s not a commonly sighted animal. In 2007, an unidentified animal was caged alive and brought to Kentucky wildlife officials. "The anatomical features of it, the skeletal features, the general appearances, particularly the paws, it gives it away. That it is in fact a raccoon," claims Dobey.

Biologists believe several factors can lead to hairlessness exhibited in an animal species, including disease, shock or trauma, genetic defect, or virus like that spread by ticks.

While biologists claim they’ve identified the strange creature for sure, supposedly, they want to study it further – which has some raising doubts as to the claim. Kentucky says its reason for further research is because the hairless type of raccoon is becoming more common in the locale.

Biologists claim they’re positive on the raccoon ID, though “chupacabra” believers may still hold their doubts. Wildlife officials claim the reason for any continued study is not due to wildlife officials being unsure of the species actually being a raccoon: the study is "Not to determine the species,” says Dobey. “We know it's [the recently shot and captured animal] a raccoon, but [the further study is] to determine what the cause of this [hairlessness of the species] is. It's obvious it's some type of hair loss," Dobey says.

Whatever the reason for the creature’s hairlessness, Kentucky says the discovered animal – it claims to be a raccoon species -- is not related to mange. “Chupacabra” sightings in the United States’ West, biologists say, has been mainly coyotes which have lost their fur due to mange. Science says that East Coast sightings of “chupacabras” are thought to be the hairless species of raccoon, animals who may be suffering from a skin disorder similar to a human form of alopecia.

Biologists may claim the “chupacabra” mythical -- but the guy who recently shot and killed the hairless creature in Kentucky has plans to take it back: while a biologist has collected skin samples for further study of the dead creature, the man who shot the animal isn’t taking chances: Mark Cothern has plans to take the animal to a taxidermist for mounting.


Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
1 Sportsman's Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601
United States
Phone: 800-858-1549
38° 12' 3.2616" N, 84° 52' 23.8224" W
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