Mysterious Creature Caught on Camera, Sparks Debate Among Texas Neighbors

Is it a chupacabra? A mountain lion? Or just a mangy mutt? Texan residents are stumped by this photo of a strange creature.

Has a chupacabra been spotted in Texas? That mythical, reptile-like creature that hops like a kangaroo and drinks the blood of livestock?

That's what some neighbors in Hill Country Village, Texas, have jokingly suggested after local resident Tina Kahlig posted on Nextdoor, a social media network for neighborhoods, about a bizarre, hard-to-identify creature she spotted in her backyard.

Kahlig said she was inside her house when she saw the strange animal in her backyard. She snapped a quick picture as the creature ate cherries that had dropped off her tree.

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The pictures, a bit grainy and unfocused, show a medium-size brown animal with long legs and a long tail. It has a thick neck and large ears, and it's not easily identifiable at first glance or even second. Kahlig told My San Antonio that she's seen coyotes, foxes, and raccoons in her yard, but this creature looked like a mix between a hyena and a mountain lion.

Kahlig posted the photos, hoping for some help in identifying the animal.

In 24 hours, more than 100 people had weighed in. But her neighbors were stumped, too. Suggestions ranged from a chupacabra to a mountain lion. According to local legend, an old mountain lion roams the area, though no one has been able to get a picture of it.

According to San Antonio Express-News, an unnamed zoologist contacted by Kahlig said it was likely a New Guinea singing dog, an ancient lineage of dog—thought to have been extinct until recently—that's found on the island of New Guinea in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

Though how a dog like that might have ended up in Texas is anyone's guess.

The reality is likely less mythical and more mangy: KENS 5 took the photos to the San Antonio Zoo to try to get to the bottom of the mystery. According to Rachel Malstaff, the San Antonio Zoo's director of mammals, it's likely a dog or a coyote. Two veterinarians at the zoo agreed, adding that it could be a dog with skin issues. In Kahlig's photos, the animal does look a little worse for wear.

The city manager of Hill Country Village is still trying to get to the bottom of the case. KENS 5 and the city of Hill Country Village have reached out to the Texas Game Wardens—but until they respond, the mystery continues.

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