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No, This Isn't A Chupacabra

This video has been making the rounds, and it doesn't help that it's got CNN's stamp of approval. Let's get one thing clear: it is not a chupacabra.

Okay, obviously it's not a chupacabra because, like unicorns and Nessie, they don't exist. But here's the thing. The wildlife expert who they interviewed is claiming that it's some sort of canid - a wolf, or coyote, or something. But all it takes is one look at the manual grasping behavior of the critter to realize that it's not a canid either. Canids don't have that sort of manual dexterity. The expert loses all credibility.


It looks to me like a really really mangy raccoon.

To confirm, I reached out to the Smithsonian Institute's Kris Helgen. He's Curator-in-Charge of Mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, calls himself a "Mammal Detective," which is the coolest job title ever, and was the man responsible for discovering the olinguito. In fact, he's published formal descriptions for more than 30 mammal species previously unknown to science, with another 70 or so still in the works. If anybody can identify that animal from South Texas, it's him.


His response? "Yup, looks like a raccoon to me."

Case closed.

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This seems to pop up. A lot. Can we start having someone start photographing shaved animals so we can have a reference? Just start at on end of the zoo and work your way over, shaving and photographing the animals. It's for science.