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Chupacabra craze goes global

05:56 PM CDT on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

From KENS - TV

It’s not a mangy coyote, but is it a chupacabra?

KENS - TV

That’s the question that’s been on the minds of many in Texas and beyond ever since the strange critter was found in Cuero last month.

“They seem to think it’s not just a mangy coyote,” Cuero resident and alleged chupacabra catcher Phylis Canion said.

Nearly a month has passed since Canion picked up the bluish roadkill off the road on Highway 183.  She claims the animal was taking her cats and sucking the blood out of her chickens.

Locals immediately wondered if she’d stumbled upon a creature of folklore – the chupacabra.

While that’s still unclear – KENS-TV is awaiting results of DNA tests on the carcass – what’s certain is Canion has stumbled upon a flood of international attention.

She’s even got the T-shirts to prove it.

“These shirts, four of them, are going to Sicily. We have sent shirts to Guam, we have sent shirts to Iraq, California, Memphis,” Canion said.

The shirts started as a joke among family, but they’ve become a pop-culture commodity and have been shipped as far as Australia.

“We have not been able to keep up with them. So we have done four orders and we’re over a thousand now,” Canion said.

And the mysterious beast isn’t just drumming up interest on the Internet or late-night TV -- it’s also the talk of the town where it was found.

“People come in here and talk about it, and they ask me if I’ve heard of any sighting or anything. I’ve had people say they’ve seen sighting of that around here,” Joe Gonzales of Don Bravo’s Restaurant said.

All the fuss has some joking that it’s time for Cuero to consider changing the town mascot.

“There are stories on the Internet, videos on YouTube.  Just so crazy, just all the publicity that we’re getting. It’s good for this little bitty town,” Cuero resident Alex Proctor said.

Cuero may be a tiny map dot, but it’s growing in celebrity by chasing the tale of a legendary beast.

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