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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chupacabra or Mangey Fox?

Back in July, a woman in Texas hit what she believes is a Chupacabra with her car. She then cut its head off and stuck it in her freezer. While she plans to have it mounted and has been selling T-shirts and other things, a local newspaper took samples of the creature and sent them off for DNA testing.

This is about the third or fourth time that a Chupacabra has been killed in or near Texas. The crazy thing about it is that the DNA tests that are always reported to be done are almost never heard of! Undoubtedly, some of them have turned out to be other things - the most celebrated of which (by skeptics) was a case a few years ago where the supposed Chupacabra turned out to be nothing more than a dog. But, again, this sort of thing has happened several times and yet the only DNA results we have heard about are the ones that make the person in question look stupid.

In this particular case (the latest one), the idea that what the woman actually killed is a grey fox with mange has been highly-touted. One expert noted that, when an animal has mange, its hair falls out and the skin turns a bluish color, matching the description of the creature the woman hit. However, other people have noted that at least one other supposed Chupacabra killed in recent years looked exactly like this one. Now it is possible that Texas has a mange problem amongst its wild foxes and canines - after all, it is a very communicable disease - but it also seems likely that, were this the case, experts would be very well aware of it and we would have heard more about it.

We'll keep watching the story, but we can only hope that once the DNA results come in, we hear about it! If it is just a fox, I guarantee you we will; otherwise, who can say?

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