A string of livestock mass-killings by an unidentified creature has struck fear into Russian farmers. A number of towns from Chelyabinsk in central Russian to the Moscow region have suffered, with the death toll from the latest attack reaching 30.
Farmer Vasily Velikodnev found the butchered sheep in their fold on a September morning in Kolomna region, some 100 km south of Moscow.
He was immediately struck by the manner of the killings. According to the farmer, the tendons in the sheep’s back were ripped, in order “to cut their arteries and suck out their blood” – a trademark of the Chupacabra, a mythical blood-sucking creature, whose existence is barely questioned by many in Central and North America.
Only three of the savaged sheep had succumbed to their wounds. Most of the rest Velikodnev had to relieve of their suffering with his own hands after calling the authorities.
The latter provided him with a list of the usual suspects: from stray dogs, lynxes (who do not inhabit the area) and foxes to migrant workers from Central Asia. Speaking with RT, the head of local administration, Svetlana Telnova, dismissed some of the wilder speculation, saying stray dogs were the most likely culprits.
“Our veterinary doctors have dismissed the talk of drained blood. All the sheep had a working heart muscle, so there is no Chupacabra,” she added.
However, Velikodnev believes that the vets have not delivered the final word on the savagings, and shepherd Aleksandr ruled out the theory of the stray dogs.
“My main question is, how did they get in? Look at the fence, a dog is simply incapable of overcoming such height!” he told RT.
And dogs or lynxes would have eaten at least one of the sheep, while the attacker in question merely bit each of them in the same spot. As for the migrant workers – no signs of an unauthorized entry were found at the farm.
“Despite the rain that fell the night before, we didn’t notice any unusual footprints at all,” Velikodnev told RT.
A significant quantity of blood – 30 creatures were virtually drained! – vanishing without a trace, led locals to the conclusion that the unknown attacker had consumed it on the spot, which would have taken a healthy chunk of time. The sheep were kept in a spacious fold, so catching each would have taken at least two to three minutes, according to Velikodnev, which means the intruder was present for more than an hour.
“We suffered a similar attack back in May, which left eight sheep and Styopka the goat dead, but then the animals had toothmarks on them, so we figured the dogs were to blame that time,” Velikodnev recalled.
Just days after the incident in Kolomna region a similar case was reported in a small town near Chelyabinsk, where an unknown attacker broke into a rabbit cage and tore its inhabitants apart.
Rabbits have been dying in their dozens following two similar attacks in other small towns in the Chelyabinsk region.
The first reports of the "Chupacabra vampire" being spotted in Russia appeared as early as April 2006.
The term Chupacabra – deriving from the Spanish words chupar (to suck) and cabra (goat) – first appeared in 1995 after an attack on sheep in Puerto Rico which left eight dead animals with identical small wounds in the chest area and completely drained of blood. Other reports of similar incidents in various parts of Central America came to light followed by more in other regions of the world.
Descriptions of the mysterious Chupacabra’s physical appearance vary. According to some, it is a reptile-like creature with a pronounced spinal ridge. Others say it looks like a hairless dog bred with a kangaroo, with the latter’s ability to jump up to six meters. Some sightings mention an unusual red glow in the creature’s eyes.
Unlike conventional predators, the Chupacabras are believed to drain the prey’s blood and/or internal organs and never touch the flesh.
There have been several reports of the creature being found dead. However, all the carcasses examined by scientists were found to be coyotes infected with a parasite that left them with little fur and thickened skin.
One of the greatest Brazilian footballers of the early 21st century, Ronaldinho, was nicknamed Chupacabra for his unusual appearance in the early days of his career.