A video taken by a motorist in South Texas reveals that the gait, tail, rear hips and nose of an unknown creature that is becoming more common to the area probably isn’t a coyote. Previously, many biologists had assumed that the creature was a coyote with a disease called sarcoptic mange (scabies), but this animal does not move like a coyote and its long nose and gait are not consistent with the changes seen in coyotes with the disease. Sarcoptic mange can profoundly change an animal’s appearance, so much so that in 2010, a creature caught alive in Oklahoma was at first thought to be a ‘chupacabra.’ However, it turned out to be a raccoon with sarcoptic mange. The unknown animals have been seen as far north as Wisconsin and Maryland, and are probably rapidly extending their range. Sarcoptic mange could still play a role, but it is unlikely that the creature pictures in this video is a coyote or dog. To make a final determination, DNA evidence is needed.
In 2004, Unknowncountry.com acquired the remains of one of the animals, which had been found in Elmendorf, Texas, and sent tissue samples for DNA testing to the University of California’ Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. Initially, a representative of the lab called and reported that the genetic signature was unknown, but after the cases was discussed publicly by Whitley Strieber, a written report appeared stating that "the bone and tooth samples exhibited over 99% identity with Canis latrans (coyote) sequences." The discrepancy between the statement and the written report was never explained. A biologist who assisted in the collection of the remains stated that, in his opinion, the skull was not that of a coyote.
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