Villagers in Suining, Sichuan, have caught two creatures that the People's Daily has labeled "the Chinese Chupacabra."
See the original story in Chinese and pictures here.
"In all my 90 years, I've never seen such a creature. I have no idea what it is," Liu Chang said, shaking his head, as he peered unflichingly into a cage housing the small animal. "Badgers, bobcats, I've seen them all, but I've never seen this."
On March 24, villagers in Suining's Jinyuan Town, Daying County flocked to Ke Suying's residence to see what the fuss was about: this never-before-seen creature was the talk of the town.
At around 3 a.m. on March 23, Ke Suying was awakened by the calling of a rooster. She listened carefully: The sound was coming from her own chicken coop, leading her to believe a thief had entered her property. She immediately woke up her daughter-in-law, and, flashlight in hand, they went down to the coop.
What they saw made both mother and daughter-in-law jump. Inside the coop was a dog-like creature, gray from head to toe, tearing at the chickens. The two women grabbed a stick intending to scare it away, but their efforts were in vain. They had no choice but to call the neighbors for help. Working together they were finally able to trap the creature in a cage.
The animal seems to be omnivorous and measures around 60 centimeters in length—bottom-heavy—and its tail adds another 30 centimeters. There is a wound on its stomach. Almost all of its fur is gone apart from a few sparse, brown-colored hairs on its back. Its head looks mostly like that of a dog, but its nostrils are that of a cow, and it has a few short whiskers hanging from its cheeks. It has round ears and folds on the skin on its neck. Its hindlegs are far longer and heavier than its forelegs, and each of its four wide feet has five toes, almost like that of a lion or tiger.
According to a personnel of the Daying County Forestry Department, this animal might possibly be a common badger, but given that it appears to be quite different from most badgers seen in the area, more research is needed to determine whether or not it is indeed a badger.
In related news, a Ms. Chen on Jiangdong Lu in Daying County has also been feeding an unidentified animal recently. When her family members attempted to identify it by searching online, they decided that it was a Beech Marten—a species found only in Shanxi, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Yunnan, and classified as a "level 2" endangered species [which seems to contradict Wikipedia's claims, but that's what the article said]. On the 23rd, when she heard the new of Ke Suying's catch, Chen realized that the two animals looked quite similar, although there were enough differences that Chen was certain they were not one and the same.
The County Forestry Department is currently doing further investigation into both animals.