What is it? And since she found this corpse in July why are the professionals speculating instead waiting for the forensic pathology and DNA test of this creature. Dog, fox, coyote, whatever, lets quit the 'scientific' explanations until the science is done thank you.
But what folks are calling a chupacabra is probably just a strange breed of dog, said veterinarian Travis Schaar of the Main Street Animal Hospital in nearby Victoria.
Phylis Canion holds the head of what she is calling a Chupacabra at her home. She found the strange looking animal dead outside her ranch and thinks it is responsible for killing many of her chickens. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
"I'm not going to tell you that's not a chupacabra. I just think in my opinion a chupacabra is a dog," said Schaar, who has seen Canion's find.
The "chupacabras" could have all been part of a mutated litter of dogs, or they may be a new kind of mutt, he said.Wildlife officials say the animal is actually a very sick, grey fox that possibly has a parasite.
Phylis Canion found the corpse of a strange looking critter on her property in late July. Claiming that the animal killed numerous cats in the area and sucked the blood from her chickens for a number of years, Canion collected the blue-colored road kill off Hwy.183. Upon closer inspection, she couldn’t place a name to it.
Determined to find out the identity of her discovery, she contacted KENS-5, a CBS broadcast affiliate in San Antonio. The news station was also curious, and sent a tissue sample to Texas State University-San Marcos for DNA testing.
The Department of Biology received the remains late this summer and is currently running tests to divulge the classification of the animal in the lab’s Beckman-Coulter CEQ 8800 DNA sequencer.
“This is part of a Mexican, Caribbean and Latin-American cultural phenomenon,” said Michael Forstner, professor of biology at Texas State and facilitator of the DNA tests. “While we don’t have the skull, from the images we have we can tell you that it’s a canid, it’s in the dog family Canidae.”
The reason the department doesn’t possess the skull is because the head of the animal was removed by Canion. She placed it in her freezer to preserve it for a decorative mount on her wall, leaving DNA testing as the remaining means in which to conclusively identify the beast.
“We’ll extract the DNA and amplify it using DNA markers suitable for mammals and carnivores,” Forstner said. “When we’re done, we’ll run the results against our online database and see what it matches.”
Supposed chupacabras that have undergone testing in the past often turn out to be wild dogs, foxes or coyotes. In this case, Forstner says the department should easily be able to find a match.
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