The earliest chupacabra sightings took place in rural, and more notably, Canóvanas, Puerto Rico in 1995, rapidly linking together numerous sightings of "goat-sucking" creatures around the world, some in Indonesia and the Philippines that look place nearly two centuries earlier. In recent archaeological discoveries, the term "goat sucker" was found to be used in Ancient Mayan literature as the Camazotz as early as 1400 BCE.
In the Rural Jungles
Their first known attacks were in March of 1995 in Puerto Rico. Eight sheep were discovered dead, each completely drained of blood. Investigators found three strange puncture wounds in the chests of the animals. Despite the odd circumstances, authorities could only attribute the killings to a known predator - a fox, perhaps. Others, however, recognized the similarities in these deaths to the enigmatic cattle mutilations which had been taking place in the American southwest with increasing regularity.
Was there a connection?
The Sightings' Description
In Canóvanas, about 30 citizens claimed to have seen the chupacabras, swearing that it had swooped down from the sky and leapt over treetops. It wasn't until November, 19, 1995 that a detailed description of chupacabras came from an eyewitness. On that autumn night in Puerto Rico, the creature struck again. Farmers awoke to a horrifying scene: dozens of turkeys, rabbits, goats, cats, dogs, horses and cows... dead, with no explainable cause. Just the mysterious markings left by the blood-drinking chupacabras.
But in the north-central city of Caguas, a startled homeowner caught the world's first fleeting glimpse of the goat sucker. Described as having huge red eyes and hairy arms, the creature allegedly broke into the bedroom of the house through a window, tore apart a child's stuffed Teddy bear, and left a puddle of slime and a single piece of rancid meat on the windowsill before disappearing.
Through the end of 1995, chupacabras had been blamed for more than 1,000 mysterious animals deaths - all resulting from blood loss through one or more puncture wounds. In that time, several more eyewitnesses came forward, consistently describing the the creature as being monkey-like, but having no tail. They characterized it has having large oval red eyes that sometimes glowed, gray skin, a long snake-like tongue, fangs, and long spinal quills that may double as wings. Those who saw it say chupacabras stands between four and five feet tall, hops like a kangaroo, and leaves a foul, sulfur-like stench. At the site of some deaths, unidentified three-toed tracks were found. Zoologists could think of no known animal that adequately fits this strange portrait.
Was the chupacabras the figment of agitated imaginations? Could the witnesses have mistaken a fox or a panther for this weird creature? Was it, after all, just a superstition? In any case, the killings continued.
In March, 1996, chupacabras struck for the first time in the United States. It had somehow crossed the Caribbean and slain 40 animals in a rural area northwest of Miami, Florida.
On May 2, a report came from the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas: a six-year-old pet goat was found dead with the unmistakable puncture wounds of chupacabras. On that same day, the creature appeared further south in Juarez, Mexico, where it preyed on dogs and other small mammals.
More witnesses verified chupacabras' description: the row of spikes or feather-like projections running down its spine; the way it stands upright on three-toed feet with its forearms suspended at chest level, not unlike a kangaroo; its large sometimes glowing eyes.
The next day, May 3, in northern Mexico, the village of Calderon is terrorized by a giant "bat-like" creature that feasted on the blood of several goats. Like a scene out of Frankenstein, farmers formed vigilante groups to try and stop the monster, but without success. Throughout May, reports came in from all over Mexico where chupacabras left dead cows, sheep, and rams in its bloody wake.
Ancient Pre-columbian Mentions of a "Goatsucking Demon"
With hundreds of killings over decades after the Puerto Rican sightings in 1995, chupacabras has eluded capture. Several sightings have been claimed, and its description fits no biological classification - and its killing methods puzzle forensic experts. If eyewitnesses can be believed, and until the experts can deliver a plausible explanation for the bizarre deaths, chupacabras remains a real modern mystery.
Most cryptozoologists date the earliest sightings of the chupacabra to the pre-Colombian civilizations that inhabited the areas thousands of years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1642, such as the Aztec and Mayans.
Ancient Mayans Encounter a "Goatsucker"
New archaeological finds are quickening interest in the Maya, a people whose history is shrouded in myths. Nigel Richardson, touring their former lands, found old beliefs as potent as ever.
By Nigel Richardson
Between the ruined Mayan cities of Kabah and Uxmal, in the Mexican state of Yucatán, there is a red church on a hill. The interior is lined with strange wooden shrines, their doors ajar like cabinets of curiosities. A caretaker who was clearing away the guttered candles welcomed us and said sadly, “We don’t hold so many religious festivals these days. Because of the chupacabra, you see.” The chupacabra? It translates literally as “goatsucker” – a cryptid, or mythical beast, that the villagers of Santa Elena believe preys on livestock. If you hold a festival you are just asking for the chupacabra to saunter along and pick off the goats and pigs you bring to feed the festival-goers. So it’s best not to hold festivals in the first place. Superstition runs deep here – as deep, indeed, as el inframundo, the underworld, which underpinned the beliefs of the old Mayan civilization of Mexico and Central America. This year the eyes of the world are turning afresh on this extraordinary people and period of history.
Could it be that the Chupacabra is nothing but a modern occurrence of the Camazotz legend? In Maya mythology, Camazotz (/kämäˈsots/) (alternate spellings Cama-Zotz, Sotz, Zotz) was a bat god. Camazotz means "death bat" in the K'iche' language. In Mesoamerica the bat was associated with night, death, and sacrifice. A ferocious demon that lived in the Mayan Underworld of Xibalba, Camazotz the Death Bat was usually depicted with a Vampire Bat. The best evidence in support of this is the fact that the word Chupar, a root of Chupacabra, is often associated with vultures and bats. Also, I've found that several reports of Chupacabra mention that it has a "tube-like sucking device" near its mouth.
We're forced to wonder, is this analogous to the Camazotz's knife-shaped nose?