Is it a raccoon, a cat, an opossum, or the legendary Chupacabra?
That’s the question residents in Nelson County are asking themselves after a local farmer found the mystery animal on his farm.
“I just happened to walk out on the porch and saw something moving in the field and it just looked unusual,” said Mark Cothern.
That strange creature moved closer along Cothern’s farmhouse, causing him to look through binoculars. He even called his wife to look as well. But the more they looked, the more unusual it appeared.
“Well, it’s something strange, so I got my rifle to shoot it, get a closer look. And I’m glad I did, ’cause I don’t know what it is,” he said.
It’s been anything from a big rat to the legendary chupacabra.
The chupacabra has been a mystery since 1995, with sightings reported all over the United States, from Texas to Maine. The legend says the elusive dog-like creature attacks livestock, bleeding them dry of blood — their favorite being goats.
The sightings and mystery has made the animal infamous. And it’s no different at the Corner Coffee Shop & Bakery in Bardstown.
“At first, I thought it kind of looked like a dog, then it had a really funny head with a nose that kind of looked like a snout,” said Kim Whitley.
“It was hairless,” said Rosemary Porter.
But for Laura Higgason with the Humane Society and Animal Control of Nelson County, the explanation of the chupacabra is simple.
“It’s a coyote with mange, come on. And of course, this animal is too small to be a coyote, but I saw the photos and it looks like it’s probably a raccoon or an opossum with mange. It’s not a mysterious animal,” said Higgason. “A cat’s got retractable claws, and this you can see the claws. The paws are different than a raccoon and it’s definitely not an opossum.”
The mystery should be solved at the first of the year when Cothern said a biologist from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife will test the animal’s DNA.
“It puzzles me. I’d like to have an answer,” Cothern said. “A lot of people would.”