An urban legend creature linked to parts of Mexico and the southern U.S. is capturing the minds of the internet with an image shared by a zoo.
What Happened: The Amarillo Zoo shared an image with the public asking for help to identify a weird creature seen outside the zoo in the early morning hours on May 21.
The city of Amarillo asked if the image is a person with a strange hat or perhaps a Chupacabra, which led to the story quickly going viral on Twitter Inc TWTR.
The Amarillo Zoo captured the strange image outside the zoo in the dark and early morning hours of May 21 (around 1:25 a.m.). Is it a person with a strange hat who likes to walk at night? A chupacabra? Do you have any ideas of what this UAO- Unidentified Amarillo Object could be? pic.twitter.com/86Ly9ogtBT
— CityofAmarillo (@CityofAmarillo) June 9, 2022
For those unfamiliar with chupacabras, urban legend says the creature is similar to a Sasquatch or Bigfoot and its name translates to “goat-sucker.”
The mysterious creatures were first linked to portions of Puerto Rico where goats, sheep and other animals were drained of their blood. Urban legend described them as standing on two legs and resembling large animals.
Sightings have linked the animals to Mexico and the southern portion of the United States. Some sightings turned out to be coyotes or canine hybrids that had mange, making them appear hairless.
The Amarillo Zoo contains over 80 species of animals on 15 acres in Northern Texas. The zoo offers wildlife education and experiences. Among the animals featured at the zoo are lions, tigers and bears. And yes, in case you were wondering, the zoo features goats. Boer goats are among the species of animals at the zoo.
Why It’s Important: While it appears to come right out of the movies or a potential attempt by a social media account to go viral, Amarillo city officials have said the image is real.
Cameras near the zoo are motion activated and send an alert to zoo officials when they capture something on camera. No video of the creature was recorded, only images.
Social media is divided on if the image is real and also if it is an animal or creature or if it is a person in a costume. Guesses on the internet range from the San Antonio Spurs coyote mascot to video game characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Crash Bandicoot.
The Chupacabra is not as known or featured in media programming as Bigfoot. Shows about Bigfoot like “Finding Bigfoot” and “Expedition Bigfoot” are among the programs from Warner Bros. Discovery WBD owned channels that center on the search for that urban legend.
A Travel Channel episode of “When Monsters Attack” featured a look at the Chupacabra.
The image from the Amarillo Zoo could lead to an increase in programs that will feature the urban legend and could spark a tourism boom for the city of Amarillo.
Photo: Courtesy of duluoz cats on Flickr