Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mangy Canines...Not 'el Chupacabras'


PennLive.com recently posted Chupacabra reported in York County, but there is a likely explanation...and there probably is a plausible explanation. I know the area well and I am moving back there in a matter of weeks. Hanover is my hometown. This sighting was most likely a mangy red fox or domestic dog. In fact, I happened to see a coyote with terrible mange just a few years ago.

The 'el Chupacabras' label seems to be standard fare for a whole host of afflicted canines these days:


No one seems to have managed a photo of the creature, but several people in the Hanover area of York County last week spotted something that initially brought to mind the mythical chupacabra.

"It's gray colored, looks like patchy kind of hair. Sort of coyote face. Long, long tail. Tall. Long legs. It's like this size of a greyhound do, maybe a little smaller. But this thing moved like a cat, but had little to no hair," related one reader.

"Looks like a cross between a baby deer, cat, dog and kangaroo. I know that sounds crazy but that's the only way to describe it. Grayish brown in color.

"What is it? It's scary. I know that."

Another reader reported, "When I first saw it in the field behind our house I couldn't even guess what it was. I never saw anything like that before.

"But as I watched it for a minute or so, I realized what it was. It had to be a coyote with mange. It was the right size, and it was definitely canine."

Other readers, none of whom wanted to be identified in the story, found the explanation of a coyote with mange to be plausible and satisfying.

Reports of the animal had ended late last week.

Sightings of animals with mange have become more common in Central Pennsylvania, and elsewhere in the state, in recent years.

The chupacabra originated as an undiscovered animal of legend and lore in Puerto Rico in the mid-1990s and then spread into South America, Mexico and Texas. Sporadic reports began in Pennsylvania in just the past few years.

As sightings moved to new locations, the description of the animal has changed dramatically.

In Puerto Rico, the chupacabra is a reptilian creature with scaly green-gray skin and sharp quills along its back. It stands about 3-4 feet tall on its hind-legs and hops about similar to the motion of kangaroo.

In North America, including the rare Pennsylvania sightings, chupacabra is more of a hairless, wild canine. It has an over-sized head, particularly around the jaws, and pronounced, bony ridge along it spine.

If an actual 'el Chupacabras' happened to show itself, I'm sure the outcry would be much more dramatic. Lon

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