Chupacabra? Strange Animal Found in Elmendorf
07/28/04 - WOAI TV
Posted By: Walker Robinson

A rancher in Elmendorf, southeast of San Antonio, found a strange creature attacking his livestock, and local animal experts say identifying it is a tough call.

Devin Macanally says he has lived on his ranch for 15 years and has never seen anything like it.

"It was eating mulberrys under a tree," he said.

It is a strange dog-looking creature with a blue color that he says began a killing spree. Devin first knew something was up when his chickens started disappearing. At one point, 35 were gone in just one day.

Macanally finally shot and killed the creature, and he was blown away at what he saw.

"First thing that came to my mind, is surely everybody's gonna think this is a chupacabra," he laughed. "But it's so odd because it has no hair."

At the nearby Deleon's Grocery and Market, customers come in to check out pictures of it. One woman says it is exactly how her grandmother described the dreaded chupacabra.

People at the San Antonio Zoo say they have not seen anything like it. Terry DeRosa with the zoo says at a feather-light 20 pounds, he thinks it might be a wild mexican dog.

"It may be one of the hairless dogs that perhaps you see in Mexico," he said.

Devin says he would like to know for sure. He says he is hoping someone can help identify it, possibly by DNA.

Jody Baker/Courtesy)

An Elmendorf rancher shot and killed this animal that has still not been identified.


Think you can ID this creature?

07'29/04 - San Antonio Express-News

Elvia Aguilar
Exfpress-News Staff Writer

When chickens started disappearing from Devin Mcanally's back yard, he blamed his long-haired terrier, Chenzie.

But when 35 birds vanished in one day, he knew there was another culprit.

Three weeks later, the Elmendorf rancher and retired English teacher still is wondering what attacked his flock, even after shooting a mysterious nearly-hairless critter as it munched on a nearby mulberry tree.

"It had a hair pattern down the ridge of the back about 1 to 2 inches long," Mcanally said. "I have lived here for 15 years and have never seen anything like it."

Mcanally took pictures of the beast before burying it in his backyard. Some of those pictures have circulated among animal experts, who disagree on what it is.

Wildlife biologist Brian Mesenbrink, with the San Antonio office of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, saw the pictures and declared it was a coyote with mange.

Mesenbrink said the Elmendorf area has a heavy concentration of coyotes.

"The mange is caused by parasites that infest the skin of the coyote and end up killing it," he said. "I know the Elmendorf area has a lot of coyotes and I am pretty sure that's what it is."

Not so fast.

Terry DeRosa, living collections manager for the San Antonio Zoo, said that because the creature weighs only about 20 pounds, it could be a wild Mexican dog.

Mcanally isn't so sure it's either.

"I don't believe that it's a coyote," Mcanally said. "The creature had fangs protruding outside the upper jaw unlike any coyote."

He added that the creature's ears resembled those of a desert rat and it had the muzzle of a rat.

He encountered the doglike creature with bluish skin during the day.

He's hoping for a more thorough investigation, since his chickens have stopped disappearing.

"I am curious to see what it is, and I thought more people would be as well," he said. "I would like to see someone identify it through DNA."

Jody Baker, Mcanally's friend, is surprised by his encounter.

"When you are in touch with nature and live in as remote a location as Devin, you become more aware of the diversity of nature and how much we don't know about the natural world around us," she said. "It's truly amazing."

Elmendorf Chupacabra Really A Deer?

07/30/04 - WOAI-TV
Posted By: Angela Becerra

The great debate continues over a strange animal shot and killed by a farmer in Elmendorf. A San Antonio hunting guide says he has the answer.

The animal found in Elmendorf has fangs and is somewhat blue in color. It's hairless except for a strip going down its back, so some say it possibly suffered from some kind of mange. Rancher Devin Macanally says the animal had attacked dozens of his chickens.

Some experts believe it's a sort of wild Mexican dog.

But hunting guide E.T. Hughey says he's sure it's a Muntjac (MOONT-jac) deer -- a small antelope-type animal.

He says some South Texas ranchers import them, and turn them loose on their property.

But others have speculated that the "Elmendorf beast" is some kind of canine. Still others believe it's the chupacabra -- an animal of Mexican folklore, said to kill farm animals.

We here at News 4 WOAI have done a little digging around on the world wide web, and have uncovered some interesting facts.

According to the Rolling Hills Zoo in Kansas, "as Muntjacs mature, the upper canine teeth are elongated into 'tusks' that curve outward from the lips." Also, "Muntjac deer are sometimes known as the 'barking deer' because they will emit a barking sound to warn others of predators and to identify individuals." Some interesting canine comparisons.

Concerning the dead chickens at the Elmendorf farm, Muntjac deer are actually herbivores. But remember, Mcanally says he found the creature eating mulberries. And a British web site says the deer are very territorial, using their canine "tusk" teeth on intruders, to inflict "serious injuries... to their flanks, neck and ears." Perceived chicken intruders, perhaps?

But there are some questions to ask about the deer theory. On the web sites we searched, the pictures of Muntjac deer don't indicate a long tail. The pictures from Elmendorf show that creature's tail is quite long, almost rat-like. Also, Muntjacs, just like other deer, have split hoofs. It's hard to tell from the pictures if our strange animal had hooves, or some kind of paw. We haven't gotten a chance to ask Mcanally yet.

Of course all of these are just theories at this point. No one has done any testing on the "Elmendorf beast."

You decide! Check out the web links yourself, including this one showing the skull of a Muntjac deer with the canine teeth, then let us know what you think. If you think it's something else, tell us why!

Mysterious animal is the talk of Elmendorf

07/30/04 - KENS5

Elvia Aguilar
Express-News Staff Writer

ELMENDORF — A day after pictures of a mysterious creature shot by a local rancher hit the Internet, the debate continues in this quiet little town over exactly what the strange-looking animal is.

Locals gathered at DeLeon's Grocery and Market, looking at pictures and talking about the critter that attracted more than 100 visitors to the store Thursday afternoon.

"We had a few people from Seguin and Poth come by this morning," said Maxine Guerra, storeowner. "We had one guy from Waco who stopped by on his way back home to get a glimpse of the pictures."

The doglike beast shot and killed by rancher Devin Mcanally has captured the attention of many who say they have seen similar animals in the area.

A similar creature reportedly has been spotted in Maryland, where locals are calling it the hyote, a combination of a hyena and a coyote.

Ronald Ray said his son recently shot and killed an animal in Sabinal that looks a lot like the one Mcanally shot.

"My son is definite that this is the same kind of animal he shot the other day," Ray said.

He said his son, who does ranch work in Sabinal, about 62 miles west of San Antonio, shot the animal when it came hissing toward him.

Tyler Hamilton, 10, of Helotes has his own idea of what the strange animal might be.

"It's a duiker," he said, referencing a small antelope native to Africa.

Blue duikers have bluish-gray skin when they are adults. They have hair on the inner parts and under the tail. They are most commonly found in areas with dense vegetation.

Jon Cordova disagrees.

"It's a Chinese Crested (dog)," Cordova said.

As the debate continues, locals in this city of 669 said this is the biggest story to hit this town since the 1930s, when bootlegger Joe Ball killed himself.

According to legend, Ball also known as the "Alligator Man," kept a pond of seven pet alligators near his tavern. When workers at his tavern began disappearing, townsfolk speculated he had killed them and fed their corpses to his alligators.

"When he was called in for questioning he pulled out a gun and shot himself," Nancy DeLeon, said. "The story of Mr. Mcanally's creature is right up there with that one now."

Mcanally said he is surprised by the response he has received from his mystery beast, but no one has offered to investigate further.

He has received numerous phone calls from radio stations and even a visit from a man with the Mutual UFO Network Inc., a group devoted to the study of UFOs.

"I talked to a radio station in Los Angeles this morning and then this man came to visit," Mcanally said. "No one has volunteered to do DNA testing though."

Barbara Valdez, who has lived in Elmendorf for 17 years, said she hopes more of these creatures aren't found.

"I don't need anything spooky happening in this city," she said.

S.A. Zoo Weighs-In on Chupacabra Debate


Watch this story...


08/11/04 - WOAI San Antonio

Is it a Chupacabra or not? WOAI.com is getting answers about a bizarre animal shot in Elmendorf.

Bones from a mystery animal shot by an Elmendorf rancher have been taken to an expert from the San Antonio Zoo. But can he tell what it is?

John Gramieri, the Mammal Curator at the San Antonio Zoo, doesn't think it's the Chupacabra. It's definitely unique, but he thinks it's a mix between a dog and a coyote.

Devin MacAnally shot the Elmendorph Beast after it ate dozens of his chickens. The animal has a blue-grey coloring, is almost hairless, has a short mane and large fangs.

“It's clearly a member of the dog family, a family candidate,” explains Gramieri.

Gramieri says he can't tell what type of canine, but that it could be mixed with coyote that has very weird teeth.

“For whatever reason, this animal had a very poor fusion in the front here, so it allowed that lower jaw to spread in a way that is not normal for any mammal, actually,” Gramieri told WOAI.

But what about the creature's color? A blue-grey hairless coat that's unlike any dog or coyote?

“It apparently had some very bad skin ailment,” said Gramieri. “And that skin ailment made it go bald except for the top of its body.”

So there’s no Chubacabra endorsements from the San Antonio Zoo, but MacAnally continues to believe it's something extra special. He knows its one man's opinion versus his, so he'll wait for the DNA results due back in the next few weeks to find out exactly what it is.

“I want this one to be a new species - or at least something that somebody has never seen in a cross between two different ones,” MacAnally said with a smile.

MacAnally says in the past few weeks he's gotten calls from other people claiming to have seen similar creatures around their properties. That's possible, according to the Gramieri. Gramieri believes that there are more out there.

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