Workers at a golf course in Runaway Bay, an hour north of Fort Worth, Texas, recently found what they thought might be the carcass of the vampire beast “el chupacabra.” The strange dog-like animal was mostly hairless, with tan-brown skin. It didn’t look like anything the men had ever seen before. Was it the legendary goat-sucker, the bloodthirsty Hispanic version of Bigfoot?
As it turns out, no. Jennifer Barrow, a biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, examined the carcass and noted that the teeth, skull, and feet all matched a raccoon. It’s not clear why the animal lost its fur, though there are several diseases that can cause hair loss.
This is not the first time that a hairless raccoon has been (initially) misidentified as a monster. The so-called “Montauk Monster” was a strange creature that supposedly washed ashore on a beach in Montauk, New York, in July 2008. A photo of the odd animal circulated around the Web and became the subject of national media interest. Some thought it was a hoax; others believe that the photo depicted a pig, while others vaguely and cryptically suggest that the animal is somehow a result of “biological warfare.”
[Read more at LiveScience]