PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

August 24, 2013

Chester Moore column: Mangy coyotes causing stir

PORT ARTHUR —   A story at Louisiansportsman.com has caused quite a stir in the wildlife community.

  The story, accompanied by an unusual game camera photo, details strange sightings in the state some link to the “chupacabra”.

  For those who do not know “chupacabra” which means “goat sucker” are the alleged yet scientifically verified creature that sucks the blood out of goats and other creatures.

  The photo in the story does indeed look strange but as the story itself details the subject is not a mythical creature but simply a coyote with mange.

  When animals lose their hair, they can look flat out weird and over the years, I have seen numerous photos of coyotes and foxes with mange that were labeled as “chupacabra”.

  Having a lifelong interest in mysterious wildlife, I do believe some of the strange creatures reported over the centuries are soon to be verified by science. In my opinion, chupacabra is not one of them.

  The reports started showing up in the 1990s whereas sea serpents for example have been reported for centuries. Animals that are as allegedly as widespread as the chupacabra (Puerto Rico to Texas) would have a history of being seen beyond 20 or so years. They might be called other names but creatures of the same species would be seen.

  These mangy canines are something very few people see but with game cameras, set all over the place and the proliferation of cameras on cell phone more and more of them have been documented and in the process have caused quite a stir in the media.

  Since the Louisiana Sportsman story broke, I have read several interesting comments online. One of them involved a hunter who said on two occasions he has seen something that looked like hyenas in East Texas.

  This sparked my curiosity because I had someone tell me they saw two “hyenas” in the Hill Country a few years back.

  Of course, the theory is these were escaped pets but the reality is no one has hyenas as pets. There are some in zoos but they are well maintained and the chances of them escaping and being seen by multiple people in different regions of the state over a span of a few year is not even close to likely.

  Look at some of these mangy coyotes at a distance they would appear as a hyena. They are not nearly as big but they give off that appearance.

  People who spend a lot of time outdoors have strange encounters from time to time and with modern technology, we are all able to share information on them more than ever.

  My favorite thing about being in the woods is pondering just what lurks beyond the treeline. The day I quit getting excited about the mysteries of nature will be time for me to find another pursuit in life.

  I do not however think that will be happening any time soon. There is also something a bit strange and mysterious investigate and perhaps encounter.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.)

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