by Scott Corrales
[March 1, 1996] -- A professor from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Dr. Juan A. Rivero, has become part of the scientific task force which is currently investigating the puzzling deaths of animals throughout the island, deaths attributed to the creature known as the Chupacabras.
Dr. Rivero expressed his support for the theory that the animal deaths have been caused by Rhesus monkeys which were brought to Puerto Rico's offshore islands for research purposes. A Harvard graduate and director of the Puerto Rican Zoological Society, Rivero suspects that most of the strange animal deaths which took place during 1995 were caused by the Rhesus, which has been known to kill for the sport of it.
Meanwhile, the police seem unable to protect even their own. Police colonel Agustin Cartagena, who owns a farm near Caguas, P.R., received a visit from the Chupacabras on January 12. The intruder killed 22 animals -- an assortment of ducks, chickens, and guinea hens. This incident apparently took place just days after six sheep were killed on the property of police lieutenant Jorge Rivera, whose farm is located in Canovanas
On January 18, the Chupacabras turned its thirst for blood against five ducks, slaying four and leaving one mortally injured. However, it found its match in the fierce flock of geese kept by Mrs. Luz Bonilla in her Guaynabo backyard. According to Mrs. Bonilla, the geese made a racket in the wee hours of the morning. Upon venturing to her backyard to see what had happened, she was faced with the sight of the dead ducks. Mrs. Bonilla added her voice to a growing number of citizens demanding a serious investigation by the Commonwealth government into this matter.
On the other side of the island, reports came in from a number of sources reporting a flurry of UFO activity. Police officials confirmed receiving distressed phone calls regarding this unusual activity. The sightings allegedly took place over the Costas, Sabana Yeguas and Candelaria sectors of Lajas. The objects were described as triangular in shape and moving at prodigious speed across the night skies from south to west. Curiously, the UFO reports coincided with the arrival of several squadrons of jet fighters from USAF. Local residents were awakened to a deafening sound, only to find the fighters making low-level runs over their homes. The police could not speculate as to why the Air Force had chosen to embark on practice runs in the area.
On January 23, a pet rabbit belonging to Mr. Julio Lopez's young daughter was found torn to bloody shreds in its cage, which showed signs of violent destruction. Some kind of dark excrement, different from that of cows, horses, dogs or apes, was found on the site. Mr. Lopez was quoted by San Juan's El Vocero newspaper as saying: "The shape in which the cage was left was incredible, being built out of metal tubing and linked wire... they took out the rabbit, killed it, and tore out its heart and other entrails."
Lopez added later: "This is the work of a supernatural agency; neither a dog nor an ape nor a snake could have done such a thing." Ironically, Mr. Lopez works as a butcher for a Caguas butcher shop.
On January 25, Julio Victor Ramirez, staff writer for El Vocero, described the strange disappearance of a Siberian Husky and the death of a number of animals belonging to Antonia Rodriguez Garcia, a Mayaguez housewife who notified local authorities about the incident.
According to the report filed by police officer Carlos Rivera, the victim reported the loss of a pair of rabbits and one of her dogs. One of the rabbits had curious incisions on its neck, while the other showed signs of ripped flesh. The animals gave the appearance of having been drained of blood. The mutilations appear to have taken place at 3:00 a.m., and the police report indicates having discovered chunks of raw meat mixed with fur from Mrs. Rodriguez's missing dog.
The dog engaged in a fierce encounter with the intruder, which tore off a clump of the Husky's fur during the fray. The report did not speculate if the rabbits had been killed by the Chupacabras or by a more mundane creature.
On February 3, a turkey belonging to Herminio Garcia, a beekeeper from the Mayaguez area, had the dubious distinction of being the first animal of its kind to be slain by the Chupacabras. The gobbler was found dead with claw marks on its neck.
The interagency task force led by Wisbel Ayala, entrusted with the task of analyzing the spate of mysterious deaths around the island, took the dead animal away for autopsy purposes. Ayala expressed the belief that although there were no witnesses, a monkey attacked the turkey. The owner did not have time to see the assailant, since by his own admission, as soon as he heard the sounds made by the attacker, he ran to grab a shotgun in hopes of defending his animal, but arrived too late.
Of a total of nine confirmed cases in western P.R., four have been submitted to forensic analysis with inconclusive results. The cases remain officially open.
On February 8, the Chupacabras returned to the Quebrada Negra sector of Canovanas, killing at least two sheep and mutilating an unspecified number of other animals. The incidents occurred around 3:00 p.m. in a farm owned by Mr. Elias Reyes, who told authorities that his dead livestock had puncture marks on their necks and bellies, as well as torn flesh in their hindquarters, through which inner organs were apparently extracted. Mr. Reyes refused to believe that apes or wild dogs could have committed such a horrifying act, and called upon Governor Pedro Roselli to show some leadership concerning this distressing situation.
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