The Chupacabra: Is It Real Or Just An Urban Legend?

If there’s one thing that we have in common with people from previous generations, it would be that we all love to share more than a couple of stories now and then. Of course, these tales come in varying genres, such as adventure, comedy, romance, and horror. For this article, however, we’ll be focusing on the latter.
At some point, we have all heard of fictional monsters such as the Bigfoot, orcs, ogres, and of course, vampires to some degree. Well, another creature that fits this lineup would surely be the chupacabra. An urban legend originating from Puerto Rico, this creature is often said to go hunting at night, preying on whatever livestock it finds and then sucking its blood dry. Other than the apparent loss of blood, the animal corpses tend to show little to no signs of injury, save for the puncture wounds it got from the chupacabra. Despite the many claims of eyewitness reports, however, there’s still no conclusive evidence to prove its existence, or if it ever even did. Even so, to its credit, one can’t deny the creature is still quite an interesting subject to talk about, so let’s get to it.


The creature got its name from two Spanish words: chupar (“to suck”) and cabra (“goat”). Combined together, it becomes chupacabra, meaning “goat sucker.” Like many stories, this one has to start somewhere. The first reported chupacabra attacks date back to March 1995, when eight sheep were found maimed. Each one had three puncture wounds on its chest and was allegedly drained of blood. Not long after, thanks to more and more reports, the chupacabra eventually garnered the same degree of popularity as the Bigfoot. The only difference on these newer reports, however, is that there were only two puncture wounds, and they were found on the neck instead of the chest area. Plus, unlike the name it was given, it sure looks like goats aren’t the only animals on this creature’s menu.

Reported Sightings

A few months after the first incident report in 1995, an eyewitness named Madelyne Tolentino, claimed to have seen the chupacabra in Canóvanas, a Puerto Rican town where the creature reportedly slaughtered an astounding 150 farm animals and pets. Besides Tolentino, more and more reports saying they saw it eventually came from other countries, such as Colombia, Chile, Panama, Peru, and a more recent one that took place in India back in 2018. Well, the number of sightings is surely impressive, but after some investments were made in further research, their credibility slowly began to dwindle.

Theories, And Suggestions

We’re all aware of the notion that quality is definitely above quantity. Perhaps the same can be said about the witness reports claiming to have seen this cryptid bloodsucker. As time went on, the reports began to differ and contradict in varying degrees. Some say the creature is bipedal, stands upright, and is ape-like in appearance. Meanwhile, more recent findings say it looks reptilian and ape-like. Besides looks, numerous people have also provided suggestions regarding how they came to be. Some far-out theories say that they’re extraterrestrial pets accidentally dropped by an unknown alien species. Meanwhile, others say they’re an underground organization’s test subjects for an experiment that somehow got away.

Research Findings

Besides these shaky claims, researchers also spent a significant amount of investment money studying this now-famous urban legend. One such notable study revolved around Tolentino’s witness report. Before she gave her testimony, Tolentino watched the horror/sci-fi movie Species. Turns out, she got confused between what was happening in the film and reality, leading her to believe that the chupacabra looked like the movie’s Sil creatures. With this account debunked, any hopes of finding a real chupacabra unsurprisingly dwindled, but the search doesn’t end there.
Although it may not be real, who’s to deny that there might be a living creature that resembles a chupacabra? With that said, many of the sightings around the United States often had the chupacabra described as having barely any fur, exposing a thickened skin, and a terrible odor. As it turns out, there’s a high chance these accounts may just have been a coyote infected with a parasite, causing them to look like the infamous urban legend. Along with coyotes, dogs are also potential candidates who could take credit for these animal casualties. After all, what do these two have in common when they attack their prey? They go for the jugular, hence the puncture wounds found on the neck.

By the looks of it, it’s safe to say that the chupacabra is arguably a literal case of “art imitates life.” Although it remains an urban legend, that shouldn’t be enough of a reason to keep us from making investments in exploring the unknown. After all, the world is full of mysteries, just waiting to be uncovered.