Strange corpse has some muttering the word ‘chupacabra’


02/10/2005 - KOBTV
By: Reed Upton

Some New Mexicans say it’s the weirdest thing they’ve ever seen:  a creature – and that’s the best word to describe it – found on Albuquerque’s West Mesa.

To some, it’s simply intriguing.  To others, it’s downright scary.  The creature belongs to Robert Wheeler.

“It was found out on the West Mesa,” says Wheeler.  ”A friend of mine was out there shooting and kicked it out of the dirt.”

“It looks like a gargoyle” said Wheeler’s friend Steve Garcia.  “It has these sponge-like lips.”

Garcia and Wheeler say Hispanics seem most affected by the creature – and what it might be.

“[To people of] Spanish heritage, it’s the chupacabra,” says Wheeler.  “The goat sucker is what they call it.”

A Google search will reveal many images of what people imagine the mythical chubacabra ranging from a demented Grinch-like beast to something more closely resembling the Creature from the Black Lagoon. 

Wheeler delivered the creature to a New Mexico Game and Fish office where Eyewitness News 4 shot video of it – and recorded responses from people entering the office on regular business only to see the dried corpse.  They weren’t sure what to make of it.

“Any guess as to what it could be,” Eyewitness News 4’s Tom Joles asked one of the drop-ins.

“Something prehistoric, I assume,” answered the viewer.

After doing some research, Eyewitness News 4 has concluded that the creature probably lived in the ocean at one time and probably isn’t either a chupacabra or an alien.  Eyewitness News 4 at 10:00 on Friday will explore what the creature may have been.

Game and Fish: Bizarre creature an ocean skate

The Department of Game and Fish says this strange creature was an ocean skate, which is similar to a stingray.
02/12/2005 - KOBTV
By: Todd Dukart

A bizarre creature found on Albuquerque’s West Mesa wasn’t the chupacabra, the Department of Game and Fish said, but it was something that isn’t often seen in New Mexico: an ocean skate.

Some people thought the creature was the chupacabra, a legendary creature also called the “goat sucker.”

Construction worker Robert Wheeler said a friend of his found it four years ago on the West Mesa.

Game and Fish employee Marlene Bernal said she saw the creature in someone’s home.

“She had it a bedroom locked up and I said, ‘What are you doing with it locked up?’ “ Bernal said. “And she said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.’ ”

Bernal said she noticed the creature had gills, so she and her husband thought it could be a fish they didn’t know about.

The woman then brought the creature to Game and Fish to be identified.

“There were about six officers here and they took a good hour and a half looking at it and studying it,” said Bernal.

At first, the department identified the creature as a stingray, but later found it was an ocean skate.

Albuquerque Aquarium manager Holly Casman said stingrays and ocean skates are similar, but ocean skates have wider tails than stingrays.

Camain said the creature looks so different because a fisherman cut most of the meat off.

It’s not clear why the creature ended up on the West Mesa, but one theory says someone either caught it or bought it and dumped it on the mesa.

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