Opinion

Commentary: No such thing as El Chupacabra

If you see a weird, hairless animal with fangs, Texas A&M University has two requests for you:

Bring the poor sick critter in for testing.

Do not call the mangy little coyote a "chupacabra."

Hood County is the latest outpost where biology-deprived bubbas thought they discovered a real-life version of El Chupacabras, the giant goat-killing monster of Latin American legend.

Sharman Hoppes, Texas A&M assistant professor and zoo veterinarian, took a call from a Hood County deputy after an animal was shot last week.

"She told me it looked exactly like the chupacabra that she saw on Google," Hoppes said.

Hoppes identified the animal as a sick coyote.

"I tried to explain that the chupacabra is just a story -- it's not real," Hoppes said.

"I get more calls every year from people who find some animal and think it's a chupacabra."

Ever since a sickly coyote was shot near San Antonio in summer 2004, TV news reporters have loved to do stories about mysterious creatures and then jokingly ask, "Could this be the legendary chupacabra?"

Look, El Chupacabras is like Bigfoot.

He is for fun. He is not real.

He does not live in barns in Cresson.

To read the complete column, visit www.star-telegram.com.

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