Chupacabras

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Monster of Latin America
The Chupacabra is the legendary hairless, dog-like creature that is responsible for the cattle mutilations in Latin America. This “strange alien-like bipedal monster with red eyes and a long, thin row of spikes down its back” rips its victims apart and removes the ears, eyes, lips, and some organs (Coleman). Also, it sometimes drains the blood completely. The creation of the Chupacabra says a great deal about humanity. The legend of the Chupacabra shows that humans want an explanation for abnormalities, let their imaginations run too wild, and need a scapegoat for their carelessness.

Cattle ranching is a very important part of Latin American culture because it was brought over when the area was first colonized by the Spanish in the sixteenth century (Haeber). However, the legend of the Chupacabra is a fairly modern idea. The first reported attack was in a mountainous area in Puerto Rico in 1975. This attack supposedly left eight sheep dead. All eight of these sheep had three strange holes at their necks and were completely drained of their blood. In the next five months, one hundred to one hundred and fifty more cows, goats, sheep, and chicken were reportedly killed (Coleman). The locals needed an explanation for these strange murders so they invented the Chupacabra. Today, the legend of the Chupacabara is believed in Latin America and Latin American households and communities in the United States (“Cattle Mutilations”). In the United States, however, cattle mutilations like those reported to have been committed by the Chupacabra are believed to be caused by the government (Coleman). Since the first alleged attack in Puerto Rico in 1975, many variations to the Chupacabra legend have developed. The most common of these variations arose after an attack in Nicaragua in 1980. Because the people found a carcass that resembled that of a canine, they believed it was the carcass of the Chupacabra. People then rejected the alien-like form of...
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