Expert: 'Chupacabra' a coyote-dog hybrid

July 14, 2010 at 6:14 PM

CRESSON, Texas, July 14 (UPI) -- A Texas animal control officer said a hairless creature that sparked chupacabra rumors was a canine-coyote hybrid with mange.

Cresson code enforcement officer Johnny Collins said he spotted the animal enter a barn July 7 and called Frank Hackett, Hood County animal control officer, who shot the animal when it appeared to be preparing to attack, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Wednesday.

Collins, a member of the Texas State Guard, said he showed pictures his colleagues during a drill and they identified the beast as a "chupacabra," a mythical Mexican beast purported to suck the blood from goats and other animals.

However, Sgt. Rosemary Moninger of Hood County animal control said Texas A&M University scientists conducted tests and identified the corpse as a "coyote-canine hybrid" with signs of mange and internal parasites.

A second reported chupacabra, shot July 9 about 8 miles south of Cresson, was eaten by vultures before it could be taken for testing, said Joyce Hewitt, whose son shot the animal.

"David e-mailed a photo of it to a friend who hunts," she said. "He told David that's what it was -- a chupacabra."

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