LAKE JACKSON — When Jack Crabtree walks out of his house in the morning, he expects to see grass, trees and neighboring homes, he does not expect to see a chupacabra.

Yet, when he walked outside July 4, he is sure that’s what he saw. What’s more, he took some pictures.

The gray, four-legged creature came through his back yard and walked through a neighboring field before disappearing into the brush.

“I’ve been around wildlife my entire life,” said Crabtree, a former Texas Parks and Wildlife employee. “I’ve just seen nothing like it.”

Crabtree has seen photos of chupacabra on television and says the creature looks like one.

Local wildlife experts, however, aren’t so sure.

WHAT IS A CHUPACABRA?

“It’s a demonic creature that is active at night,” Crabtree said.

“It sucks the blood out of goats and chickens.”

Stories of the creature have made their way from Mexico, Latin America and Puerto Rico to the southern United States.

More than a decade ago, farmers in Calama, a mining town in Chile, awoke to find their goats and sheep dead in their pens. An unidentified predator had mutilated their necks. And from there, the legend has only grown.

Descriptions of the chupacabra vary, according to animalplanet.com. Eyewitnesses have described the animal as having a reptilian body, oval head, bulging red eyes, fanged teeth and a long, darting tongue.

Other eyewitnesses claim to have seen an animal that can fly or leap with powerful, monkey-like hind legs, attacking animals and humans. Most eyewitnesses say they saw fangs.

“In every case, a predator appears to wantonly kill livestock (usually goats or chickens), then mysteriously disappeared,” the website states.

“No meat was taken, and only a small bite to the neck was apparent.”

A simple Internet search of the chupacabra reveals story after story of Texas sightings and YouTube videos to accompany them.

WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?

Still, local wildlife officials aren’t convinced.

Not only is there a suspicious lack of animals with blood drained from their body in Lake Jackson, but to Lake Jackson Humane Officer Kelli Wright, who looked through Crabtree’s photos of the alleged chupacabra, the type of animal is clear.

“It’s definitely going to be a coyote with mange,” she said.

The long, pointy ears are a giveaway, Wright said.

There have been several reported sightings of coyotes in the area and mange is running rampant right now, she said.

“Anytime anything has mange, it tends to distort what they normally look like,” Wright said.

Just the other day, in fact, Wright had a resident report they found a dead possum/raccoon hybrid, but upon arrival, Wright realized it was a raccoon with mange, she said.

Coyote living conditions are so filthy that diseases like mange spread easily, she said. Mange is a disease in dogs, caused by mites that leads to hair loss and skin lesions.

However, Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden Jim Bob Van Dyke isn’t so sure.

Based on the picture he saw of the Lake Jackson creature, Van Dyke doesn’t think the creature is a coyote and agrees it looks similar to the creatures that appear in online photos and videos called chupacabras.

“But I would pretty much have to see hard evidence to be convinced it’s real,” Van Dyke said.

He thinks the picture might show a stray dog.

“We’ve seen a lot of stuff as game wardens,” Van Dyke said. “If there was one of those, we would have seen it by now.”

Katlynn Lanham covers Lake Jackson for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0150.

(8) entries

WesleyRolan

Chupacabra...not so much. Looks like a familiar sight...severe mange and malnutrition of a common coyote.

MarkTheViking

A) Can't believe this is in the news section. B) Jack needs his head examined. C) This is a coyote with mange, and based on the fact he is wandering around in the sun, rabies too. D) So what is the latest on The Loch Ness Monster?[sad]

pelletmaker1

I'm a 'Chupa chaser. I've had good luck putting a small goat in the trap....they love goat blood. They are very elusive and cunning.... very difficult to trap. They never attack humans, but I would'nt be out at night walking my goat. [wink]

LJDude

“It’s a demonic creature that is active at night,” Crabtree said.

VooDoo! Man, you are way off base. Definitely astronaut material.[wink]

nalamba

It's real. Seen it once in my backyard after I had not mowed for a month. Luckily I had my goats and cattle put away for the evening.

nalamba

To MarkTheViking: Shy Pond is one place the Chupacabra likes to take a sip of water, even though blood is his (guess it could be a female) main choice of hydration. The Loch Ness monster you ask? Well, that large specimen was living a comfortable life in Shy Pond, that is until the Chupacabra showed himself/herself to the Loch Ness. That is about the time this huge beast was found floating in the lake/pond, and to top it off, the huge beast looked like it had the life sucked out of it. Go figure...maybe Loch Ness blood is tastier to the Chupacabra?

Chupa Follower

My wife and I saw one in Ohio about 2 weeks ago. We were driving over Alum Creek in Delaware, Ohio when one was on the side of the raod. It then ran/leaped off into the woods. I was not sure what it was until I saw an article about Chupacabra the other day. The images in this article are the same type animal my wife and I saw... Large dog-like, long legs, hairless, over-sized head, pointed ears, dark Grey in color with dark spots,

After some research I am convinced what we saw was indeed a Chupacabra.

cchupygal

Chupacabras are not dogs or coyotes. I witnessed one 3 years ago in Michigan and it was a highly unusual looking creature. Perhaps the public feels safer thinking a dog/coyote like animal running around their backyard is the explanation for the chupacabra. Let me tell you people something-you are wrong!!!

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