Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials are scratching their heads over an unidentified dead mammal that was first spotted July 31 on a Douglas County road.
The creepy-looking all white creature with five claws on its front paws, long toenails and dark tufts of hair on its back has prompted speculation that Minnesota is home to the legendary chupacabra, KSAX-TV reports.
Lacey Ilse was driving close to her home on County Road 86, near Alexandria, when she first saw the dead carcass.
"We saw something in the middle of the road, and we knew it wasn't a dog or a cat, because it didn't have hair," Ilse told KSAX-TV.
"It had a clump of hair and all the rest was just white skin. Its ear was all mis-shaped. To me, it looked half-human," Ilse said.
DNR area wildlife supervisor Kevin Kotts said the animal closely resembles a badger, although the creature's tail is longer than a typical badger.
"It's got five long front claws on each of its front feet, which would be characteristic of a badger," Kotts told the TV station. "I ran the pictures past a few other DNR folks that have a lot of trapping and/or furbearer experience, and they all said it's hard to be 100 percent sure what it is ... but if it's a Minnesota animal, it's probably a badger."
Chupacabras, or "goat suckers," are creatures said to live in Mexico, Puerto Rico and in different parts of the United States. The animals, described as something between a dog and a wolf, reportedly kill and suck the blood out of livestock.
Last month, a Texas teenager claimed to shoot and kill a chupacabra. Results have not yet been announced from hair and skin samples taken of the animal.
Most wildlife experts believe the weird-looking animals are coyotes afflicted with mange, caused by an infection of tiny parasites that results in their hair falling out and leaving them with shriveled skin.
The body of the Minnesota chupacabra suspect has been frozen at the Glenwood DNR office and officials may soon do a DNA test to hopefully identify the mysterious roadkill.
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