A mysterious "chupacabra" - like creature is reportedly on the loose in Texas.
According to a report from the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, a woman from Grapevine named Kim Cooley first noticed an animal that looked similar to a wolf or dog from her kitchen window last Monday evening as it walked across her backyard.
The very next day, she found the animal right in the middle of her backyard and called out for her husband, Steve Cooley. He went out and shooed the animal away, but it kept returning.
With binoculars, Steve saw an animal who was emaciated and hairless with wrinkly gray skin, long pointy ears, and bright blue eyes.
Despite seeing many animals in his backyard, none looked like this, and he explained to the outlet that they "couldn't tell what it was."
"Then I was out working in the yard mowing the grass, and it was coming out of the woods and sitting there watching me, which is not normal coyote behavior," Steve told the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram.
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The Cooleys have a massive backyard that connects to undeveloped Corps of Engineers property with a small creek running through that feeds into Grapevine Lake. This makes it home to many forms of wildlife.
"We see lots of random animals walking along the edges of the woods, passing through our backyards, so it's not unusual to see deer, or coyotes, or bobcats," Steve said.
However, he noted that it didn't look like a coyote because it was skinnier with a more pointed nose, oversized ears that stood out to the side, and a long slender droopy tail.
Steve also said that the coyote, who wasn't aggressive, stuck around the place for about five days which is rare for most coyotes who would run into the woods if they heard or saw someone coming.
Steve's neighbour told him it was the mythical chupacabra, a creature that supposedly drinks the blood of livestock.
That's when Steve took to his Facebook, sharing a photo of the animal and asking people what it could be.
Many people believed the animal was a coyote or a dog with mange. Some thought it was another animal like xoloitzcuintle, which is a Mexican hairless dog, or jaguarundi, a wild cat.
On the other hand, a few people had similar sentiments to Steve's neighbor and believed the animal was a chupacabra.
Steve further noted that it looks different from a coyote with mange that he had encountered in his yard a few years ago. the animal being counted the previous time had some patches of fur while the animal that he encountered recently was completely hairless
And although Steve said that the animal does look similar to chupacabra pictures he saw on the web, the explanation that he thought made more sense was that the animal was a xoloitzcuintle.
"I'm wondering if it was an animal that maybe had belonged to someone that wandered off," Steve said.
The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram also spoke with three Dallas-Fort Worth animal experts who classified the animal as a canine with severe mange or scabies.
It is a disease that is caused by a mite infestation. The mites burrow into the animal's skin to lay their eggs and cause skin irritation and alopecia, which could potentially explain the wrinkly gray skin and hair loss.
The condition is not an uncommon one and is very contagious. It could also lead to behavioral changes or even death.
Still, it's unclear whether the animal is a coyote or a dog that is affected by the skin disease.
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