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The chupacabra has been called the Bigfoot of Latino culture, an urban legend said to drain the blood of goats and other farm animals from South America to South Texas. It’s very name is Spanish for “goat sucker.” And like Bigfoot, the chupacabra also has eluded capture and provided no credible evidence that it exists.

Still, at least one Texas scientist sees the chupacabra as both a cultural phenomenon and a modern spin on the world’s most storied bloodsucker.

“It’s basically a vampire or a small, evil, fairy-type creature, which are popular archetypes in Latino culture,” says Ken Gerhard, a docent at the San Antonio Zoo and a widely recognized cryptozoologist.

Cryptozoology is the study and search for so-called “cryptids,” hidden animals whose existence defies scientific evidence or substantiation, such as Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster, bizarre beasts that live on in alleged sightings and indecipherable photos and videos.

Gerhard has traveled the world in search of such “X-Files” fare, as skeptical as Dana Scully yet still wanting to believe like Fox Mulder. “I’ve never found one yet,” Gerhard said. “But I still look.”

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