The sick, sad chupacabra in Texas; it looks just like a raccoon (UPDATE: Raccoon, euthanized)

Oh my. People are very much stuck on the idea that any hairless animal with teeth is a chupacabra. All such “chupas” have turned out to be foxes, coyotes, dogs or raccoons with mange. I’m finding it very difficult to accept that news channels won’t do a SHRED of background check and not post these stories as “news”. This chupa thing must die.

A Live Chupacabra Caught?

In Ratcliffe, a small town in Dewitt County, residents are certain they’ve found the mythical, despicable chupacabra and this time…it’s alive.

With it’s hairless back, large claws, countless teeth, and ferocious growl…many would say this animal fits the bill.

Parma says one of the big signs it’s not a raccoon is it’s growl. “Coon don’t make that noise…or a possum,” he said. “What makes that noise,” we asked. “I guess a chupacabra does, I don’t know, I ain’t ever heard it from another animal,” Parma added.

“The animal in the cage, as best I can tell from the view, is some sort of a small canine,” said Brent Ortego, with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Photo credit: ABC News

Photo credit: ABC News

Dear wildlife biologist: Canines don’t eat with their fingered hands. This is obviously a raccoon. And they do growl, you have it penned in a cage, it’s sick and injured and threatened. You’d growl too! The above screen shot was captured at just the right time to appear menacing. Actually, it was eating. That is cat food in the kennel.

Here is another trapped hairless raccoon. I know they look REALLY weird without hair but there is no excuse for making this out to be some fearsome monster.


All our chupa stories are here so you can see the resemblance.

In the video below, there are so many bad assumptions and ridiculous comments, THIS is how legends grow. Ignorance. Please learn about mange and your native animals. They were here first.


UPDATE (5-Apr-2014) As we stated, it was identified and was sick.

The Ratcliffe Chupacabra is unusual, in that experts eventually made it out to be a mangy raccoon rather than a coyote (or a chupacabra, for that matter). Cox said the local game warden in DeWitt County took on the case.

“The warden did contact the person who trapped the animal and told him that since it did appear to be a raccoon, he would have to release it back into the wild or euthanize it,” Cox said Friday. “The land owner left a message on the warden’s voice mail this morning that the animal had been euthanized.”

  10 comments for “The sick, sad chupacabra in Texas; it looks just like a raccoon (UPDATE: Raccoon, euthanized)

  1. April 3, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Chupacabra news items push my buttons. They always include an identifiable animal with some form of illness, some local rubes, a clueless “expert” and some lazy, sensationalist journalism. Truly absurd.

    It would be great if we could ignore this kind of BS, but someone has to point out the obvious.

  2. DC in Detroit
    April 3, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    I’d be less concerned about that poor mangy raccoon and more concerned about what’s ATTACKING THAT LADY’S HEAD!!

  3. Katherine Rogers
    April 3, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Racoons are part of the suborder Caniformia, which means “dog like”, so thinking it looks like a dog especially when it’s not eating with it’s paws, is not unreasonable. Regretfully, even when people point out the obvious, and I think I recall they have even done DNA testing on some alleged chupacabra remains, which in that case turned out to be a coyote wolf cross, people won’t accept what they are told.
    And yes, that really looks like a hairless raccoon.

  4. Gary Grady
    April 3, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I did not realize that racoons had “fingered hands”;-{ ).

  5. busterggi
    April 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Seriously, I wonder if these people would recognise a squirrel with a clipped tail.

  6. Debbie
    April 3, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    If that county has laws against keeping native wildlife (unless you are a licensed breeder) you can call the wildlife department and they have to go out and remove the animal. THese people have no business with a houseplant, much less a living breathing creature. It’s so OBVIOUSLY a raccoon.

  7. Pamela Wright
    April 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    I enjoy Doubtful News but you kind of fell for a media trick here. Don’t insult the wildlife expert. If you watch the original interview, you see he is being interviewed in his office. You don’t hear the actual question asked of him. My guess is, they didn’t show him the video, they merely described a what-if situation, and he gave the stock answer. Usually it is some sort of canine. They then have him explain that a canine could be a coyote or other animal. Would he have even said “coyote” if he had seen the video? No. So please stop attacking this man as if he is an idiot. Instead, I’d suggest people in professional positions stop giving “news reporters” any stock answers or answers to questions about things they have not personally seen or investigated. It’s a slam guarantee, your words will be sliced and diced and end up edited to make their case look more mysterious and cool, and you look like the sucker.

  8. April 4, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    I didn’t. I have to base my opinion on what is shown to the public. Also, as an expert, you have to be wary of what evidence you are shown and what to make of it in public as well. You are guessing what happened here as well so it is not fair to chastise me about it. I was making a point to the public that canids don’t use their front paws this way.

  9. Eshto
    April 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Looks absolutely NOTHING like the mythical creature is supposed to look like. No spikes, no big alien eyes, no tongue spike thing. Have some respect for the folklore, people!

  10. kalashnikat
    April 6, 2014 at 1:41 AM

    As to the sounds a Raccoon can make, I found one that had fallen in a dumpster seeking scraps and couldn’t get out…when he (or she, perhaps) saw me, it made the most ungodly threatening growl…difficult to describe but sure got my undivided attention…I put a 2×6 and a carpet scrap into the dumpster in a way that made a climbable ramp, and let it go, but the sound alone, had I not seen it and recognized it as a raccoon, would have prompted me to draw and fire immediately…it was definitely the most hostile sound I’d heard first hand from anything smaller than a lion…a sort of “mad dog” roar.

    We parted ways as soon as it out of the dumpster.

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