I have written elsewhere of how the term “chupacabras” has changed. It was once purely used to describe a partially bipedal creature that is reported to have spines down its back, and is allegedly vampiric.
I have visited Puerto Rico on two occasions, each time meeting up with the deputy head of Canovenas Civil Defense, Ismael Aguyo, who was one of the few men who coined the term “chupacabras” (literally Spanish for ‘goat sucker’) back in the mid 1990s, when there was a spate of attacks on domestic livestock that left the victims – usually fowl or tiny goats – drained, at least partially, of blood. Unfortunately, since 2004, the term has also been used to describe a variety of canids, reported across the southern states of the USA, usually blue or grey in colour, without any hair, and often with strange pads of flesh on their haunches; exactly where the dog’s buttocks would be, if a dog had buttocks (which it doesn’t).
The latest advantage of the mutation of this particular Spanish neologism concerns a creature that was allegedly found in a national park in Nebraska last week. The Sportsman Channel originally said the animal was found in Ponca State Park, however, The Lincoln Journal-Star reports a woman named Angie Ketelsen says she found it near her home in Martinsburg, which is 11 miles southwest of the park.
Ketelsen says her dog “dragged the carcass to her home,” and she believes it’s just a raccoon that is unrecognizable because its hair is “matted and sun bleached.”
Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article231306543.html#storylink=cpy
Although our researches have been hampered by the ridiculous constraints placed upon viewing various websites by the EU’s GDPR legislation, I circulated this information to a hand-picked group of experts. Like Caesar, I have assembled my Xth Legion (devotees of Rudyard Kipling will probably get the reference). My physiology skills are not what they once were, and so I have started to circulate pictures of mysterious carcasses and bones to a group consisting of Melanie and Ric (two bone collectors I know from Twitter), Lars and Max (professional zoologists who work closely with the CFZ), Carl (a zoology student, field naturalist and close colleague of ours), my elder stepdaughter, Shoshannah, who is a vet (an animal doctor, not that she fought in Vietnam) and my lovely wife, Corinna, who is possessed of a bloody great dollop of common sense.
When we first got hold of this photograph, we had not been informed that only the front half of the animal had been recovered.
“Well the teeth could be a bit doggy but I can't work out what's happening with the front leg and foot; they look to be at a very odd angle. I don't think I can speculate much about this really. But give us a skull and bones and we could draw allsorts of fascinating conclusions!”
“A kind of golden retriever with a short nose.”
“I don't know, something about it just doesn't look real. I think it's a combination of the teeth, fur and nose,” and “Why such a poor photo cutting out most of the body?”
Lars tended to agree, writing:
“Looks fake to me too - especially the fur makes me think of stuffed toys.”
However, several days later we got hold of the rest of the photographs. There were three, rather than two, and it’s obvious that the animal is much smaller than we had first supposed, about twice the size of a shoe.
The woman who found it believes that it is a dead and mutilated racoon, with fur that had become bleached in the sun. However, I believe that - although the teeth are superficially similar - the absence of colouration, the pointed nose, and the apparently long fur, would argue against this hypothesis.
“The picture of the woman holding it up - is that its pelvis hanging down? Why would back end be like that with front end still having all that fur? She looks jolly happy at the smell Is that a man's, woman's or child's shoe that it is being scaled against?”
The more I look at it, the more I am inclined towards Lars’s hypothesis that it is the front half of a toy lion. However, now we have the second and third pictures, I will circulate them again to my Xth Legion, and see what they have to say.