National Geographic - Original Air Date:
NatGeo's new series looks at whether the blood-sucking chupacabra is myth, a real animal, or supernatural. Texas ranchers and others are seeing a hairless doglike creature with a long snout and believe the thing is killing their small livestock. The creature has been caught on film, and there are even a few carcasses to examine -- though this is not the monkey-like creature first reported to be the Chupacabra in Puerto Rico. The show compares some good evidence, and even has a track comparison with the animal, dogs, and wolves. It also has witness interviews, some seemingly more reliable than others. Friend of Uncanny Radio Nick Redfern gives some background, and mentions a possible UFO connection - though he also posits it could be some form of large vampire bat, at least in the Puerto Rican cases. He also suggests that escaped monkeys could have started the original "monster" -- and, indeed, the monkeys might fit the classic description. Clearly the things in Texas are not monkeys, but Puerto Rico is also home to many wild dogs.
Forensic examination of a carcass rules out dogs and wolves, and a team sets out to catch a live specimen for examination. The hunters come up short, but another carcass turns up and a piece is sent for DNA analysis. The body is also taken for XRays. DNA suggests that the animal is a hybrid of coyote and wolf, but the scientist is not sure why it lacks hair. The scientist suggests that, in the case of this and other alleged monsters, people see what they want to see. In reality, this animal is just a hybrid.