Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 16th, 2011
This week the “Mystery Beast” stalking Prince George’s County, Maryland, since June 1st, was captured briefly, so it could be photographed. (Prince George’s County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland, immediately north, east, and south of Washington, DC. As of 2010, it had a population of 863,420.)
The animal is being called a “Chupacabras” by some locals, frequently seen near Prince George’s Hospital, and thus earned the label “Prince Chupa.” (Prince George’s Hospital Medical Center is located in Cheverly, Maryland.)
Some remarkably silly things are being quoted in the press about this animal:
“It’s a kangaroo, dog, rat mixed,” X-ray technician Joe Livermore said. “It’s got a rat tail and a head like a deer. I don’t know what it is.”
Livermore decided to trap it, photograph it, and release it. He passed along the images to the local media. Apparently no DNA samples were taken by the hospital technician.
The animal is obviously a canid with mange, a class of persistent contagious skin diseases caused by parasitic mites, which results in the loss of hair. Most often, the mange being seen in these so-called “Chupacabras” cases is caused by an infestation of Sarcoptes scabiei canis, a burrowing mite found in dogs, coy-dogs, foxes, and coyotes.
Credit NBC Washington.
A similar mangy canid was photographed near Joppa, Maryland, in 2004 (see below), and Prince George looks like a twin of the mangy dogs and coyotes misidentified as Texas and Oklahoma Chupacabras, at bottom, all the time.