Are These Strange Animals Actually Chupacabras?
Some residents of Hood County, Texas, believe two bizarre beasts killed near Fort Worth are real-life examples of the legendary "goat suckers" of Latin-American lore.
"I'm not sure on that part. All I know is, it wasn't normal," Animal Control Officer Frank Hackett told NBC DFW. "It was ugly, real ugly. I'm not going to tell no lie on that one."
Hackett shot and killed the creature inside a barn owned by Jack Farr.
"This had deer ears, big teeth and pinkish skin like nothing I've ever seen before," Farr said.
Several miles away, a rancher captured and killed another similar specimen this week -- sparking speculation that there might be a pack of chupacabras, which, according to legend, kill and suck the blood of livestock.
Though chupacabras are often described as having an almost reptilian appearance, the animals killed in Texas allegedly resemble canines, causing some skepticism about their cryptozoological legitimacy.
That said, officials think the animals are strange enough to warrant further investigation, and the remains have been turned over to researchers at Texas A&M University.
The doctors -- who have reportedly stated that they believe the beasts to be a kind of "coyote hybrid" -- are planning to conduct DNA tests to determine the identity of the animals. AOL News Surge Desk today interviewed a researcher who tested a carcass suspected of being a Chupacabra back in 2007. Dr. Mike Forstner said he believed the tests on the new beasts would produce the same result as last time: coyote DNA signatures.
But no matter the results of the tests, questions will likely remain about the creatures -- as is the case whenever people discover strange animal remains.
Montauk Monster: When the remains of a partially decomposed animal washed onto a beach near Montauk, N.Y., a legend was born. The so-called "Montauk Monster" captured the world's attention in the summer of 2008, sparking massive speculation about whether the creature was a turtle, a dog, some kind of rodent or even a mutant that escaped from the nearby Plum Island Animal Disease Center. It's still not entirely clear what the Montauk Monster was, though some experts are now making the case that the creature was a raccoon.
Chupacabra or "defective coyote": Last year, the owner of a taxidermy school in Blanco, Texas, found himself in the middle of a media frenzy when he acquired a carcass that some believed to be a chupacabra. "I don't know what it is. ... I do know that I have an odd animal," Jerry Ayer told CNN. Though he said the 30-pound, mainly hairless creature might be a "genetically defective coyote," he was still inundated with phone calls from journalists and cryptozoologists curious about the specimen. "It'll probably end up in a museum," he said.
Bald-faced beast: This spring, two nurses were walking their dog near a lake outside the town of Kitchenuhmaykoosib, Ontario, when their pooch reportedly dragged ashore the strange carcass of a bald-faced, long-tailed creature. They photographed the white-headed, hairy-bodied animal, but said the corpse was gone when they tried to retrieve it later. The images quickly circulated around the Internet as animal lovers debated whether the beast was a boar, a bobcat, an otter, a weasel -- or even a hoax.