link to Home Page

icon Associated Press

Mysterious, perhaps Mythical Beast reported in Two Countries
Associated Press, August 30, 2000

Reports of a mysterious, vampire-like beast that allegedly preys on animals have reappeared suddenly in two Latin American nations. On Wednesday, the newspapers Nuevo Diario and La Prensa published photos of a dead creature that sheepherder Jorge Luis Talavera claimed was a "chupacabras," a "goat-sucker," he had killed with a shotgun. The dog-sized creature had a bull-like head and small feet. Gioconda Chevez, a zoologist who examined it, told the newspapers that the creature had smooth skin like that of a bat, long claws and a crocodile-like crest running down its back. The cadaver was turned over to the National Autonomous University, where officials said it would be examined. Talavera said he had lost several sheep in mysterious ways recently at his farm in western Nicaragua and stayed awake at night to catch the attacker.

The Mexico City daily El Universal, meanwhile, also reported rumors of a goat-sucker in the town of San Pedro in the northern state of Coahuila. Farmers had reported the unexplained deaths of several animals there. Rumors of goat-suckers spread across Latin America several years ago, though many officials dismissed the reports, saying animals were being killed by wolves, dogs or coyotes. The rumors spawned folk songs, t-shirts and even little rubber goat-sucker figures. Reports were common in Puerto Rico and there were some in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.