Relax, It's Just a Bald Coyote

Strange find is not chupacabra of urban legend
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2007 9:24 PM CDT
Phylis Canion holds a photo of what she thought was a chupacabra in Cuero, Texas, Friday, Aug. 31, 2007. She found the strange-looking animal dead outside her ranch and thinks it is responsible for killing...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Scientists have identified the peculiar animals found in southern Texas this summer—and they’re not the bloodsucking chupacabras of Mexican lore. No, the three bodies discovered near San Antonio were actually just coyotes that had lost their hair, DNA tests show. Researchers say the doglike beasts are a “virtually identical match” to garden-variety coyotes, the AP reports.

The woman who found the 40-pound animals near her house saved one head for testing—and eventually for mounting. Chupacabra is Spanish for goat sucker—the legendary predator is said to drink other animals’ blood. For now, scientists are interested in a more pressing puzzle: They’ll keep studying the strange coyote to figure out why it went bald.