Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mysterious Beast of East Texas

A man in Harrison County snapped the picture shown below just a few months ago. It was shown on a local news program in Taylor Texas and hundreds of views logged online to express their opinion of just what the creature was. The answers varied, everything from a Peruvian hairless dog, to a naked fox, to an Australian dingo.
"Looks like a hyena or a greyhound, a messed up dog, or a horrible dog," says Taylor JC Student Lyndon Gilford.
"I would say it is a cross between a jackal and a grey hound, if that is possible" said one animal expert upon viewing the photo.
"It is certainly an ugly animal, I don't want to be mean and I don’t know what kind of creature it is, maybe some type of a horse," says another.
"It looks kind of messed up," said yet another.
Some viewers e-mailed claiming that he photo was that of the famed mythic (?) animal called "a Chupacabra". James Wright, a zoonosis vet with the Texas Department of State Health Services doubts the photo of this animal is a Chupacabra.
"Yep. You see, if I spot this out in the country side I’d feel it is a canine and not something from outer space," says Wright. He thinks the animal is a type of dog or coyote suffering from severe mange. "Most probably from demodectic mange," says James Wright, “it looks like it’s having a real bad hair day”. He says demodectic mange causes the hair of dogs to fall out very badly.
Wright says this creature closely resembles one found in near Lufkin in Angelina County a few months ago. Experts believe it was a canine with severe mange. So for Wright the mystery has been solved, he says, the animal from Harrison county is a canine, but you have to decide for yourself. But before you make any decisions take a look at this next item:

Over the last few years I have heard stories like the one above and seen photos like that small one above. They all purport to be of a mysterious dog-like creature. I am now able to report that this weekend, one of these animals was killed in the East Texas town of Tyler.
It seems that two brothers were out hunting squirrels when they were surprised by a very similar animal to that mentioned above. The brothers, good hunters both, shot and killed it. On closer examination it appears to have heavy leathery skin, long sharp teeth and fangs, and hind legs longer by a good deal than its front legs. One of the brothers, Kolby Russell, said this isn't his first run in with the creature.
"I chased it a couple times earlier, about a month ago, and my friends didn't believe me. After we shot it, I finally showed them and now they do believe me." The question still remains, is it just a mangy dog?
Plain folks and experts both can’t seem to agree on that, some suggest it is only a stray dog with mange, others that it is a dog/coyote mix with mange while still others say that it is something new and never seen before."I've seen mange before, this don’t look like it to me. And besides, he ain’t no dog, no normal dog, just you look at him. He has a body kind of built like a coyote, but he's real skinny", says the other brother, Coty Russell. In the past, East Texans have often seen this and perhaps similar creatures and reported them to police and news outlets. Most thought the animals that they spotted were just wild dogs with mange or a coyote crossbreed. Now, after viewing the remains of the animal, some are beginning to agree with Marge Higgle who says, “I’m no scientist or vet or nothing but I believe what them boys done killed was a Chupacabra.”
What exactly is this mythical (?) Mexican creature, the Chupacabra?. Mike Whatts of the CWC (The Chupacabra Watch Company), who has himself been on numerous expidetions trying to capture the creature, tells us that, “the Chupacabra is a creature said to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated particularly with Puerto Rico, where it was first reported, Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities. The name, which translates literally from Spanish as ‘goat-sucker’, comes from its reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Sightings began in Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, and have since been reported as far north as the Carolinas and as far south as Chile.”

So what have we got here, a mangy dog or a mythical beast? I really don’t know myself but it sure is more proof that ours is a truly weird world! Some argue that the chupacabra may be a real creature, mainstream scientists and experts generally contend that the chupacabra is only a legendary creature, or at best a type of urban legend based on some miss identified animal.
The creature the Russell boys shot has been handed over to Angelina County authorities who are going run a series of test to determine what it is and what to do with it next. I hope you will join us next time.

I’m Average Joe

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