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What is a chupacabra?

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A chupacabra is a creature that sucks the blood of livestock. The word "chupacabra" literally means "goat sucker," though its prey is not limited to goats. It is also rumored to consume the blood of other commonly farmed animals, such as cattle.

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Though tales of chupacabras date back to the 1970s, proof of the creature's existence has yet to be substantiated as of 2014. Descriptions of chupacabras range anywhere from semblances to the coyote to a reptilian creature that walks on its hind legs. Chupacabra descriptions almost always involve fangs and a forked tongue.

Although chupacabra legends are popular in the American Southwest, the legend is believed to have originated in Puerto Rico with the Vampiro del Moca, a vampire-like creature that reportedly preyed on the livestock in the town of Moca. In spite of a lack of evidence for the actual existence of chupacabras, there are many cases of livestock reported as turning up dead and completely drained of blood with very little obvious trauma to their carcasses. The fact that a plausible explanation doesn't exist for many of these cases fuels speculation about the existence of the creature. In addition to Puerto Rico and the United States, many Central and South American countries also have widely circulated chupacabra legends.

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