PHOENIX, N.Y.--If you believe the legend, they skulk around at night, sucking the blood of livestock like vampiric coyote-wolf-dogs.
They're called chupacabras, Spanish for "goat suckers," and are well-known in Latin America. Recently, chupacabra mania has taken hold in Texas.
Two years ago, a woman in Cuero became the proud owner of an alleged chupacabra head. Last year, a sheriff's deputy in the same area captured video of a similar-looking creature.
Lab tests have been done. Film crews have come in from foreign countries. T-shirts are being shipped worldwide.
"The interest in the chupacabra has been overwhelming," said Phylis Canion, of Cuero.
Someone quite interested in the animal is John Adolfi, of Phoenix. He recently became the proud owner of the world's first full stuffed chupacabra, killed by poison in Blanco and stuffed by an area taxidermist. Adolfi says there was high demand for the carcass. And he got it.
"We were the first ones there and we were able to come up with the money and it satisfied them. And as a matter of fact, they like our mission, what we were going to use it for," Adolfi said.
Aldofi collects unusual and somewhat unexplainable artifacts for his Lost World Museum. He says he's intrigued by the chupacabra, because he feels it's more than just myth.
"There are actual bodies and then there's sightings and photographic evidence that go far beyond the Bigfoot or the UFOs," Adolfi said.
To go with his recent acquisition, Adolfi also has bones, allegedly from a chupacabra captured right in New York State. Adolfi says the animal hasn't gotten much attention or recognition in the area. But now, it might.
"I think after the fuse is lit and people realize what this is and that these beasts are starting to appear even in our own backyards here in New York, then I think there might be some more interest," Adolfi said.
Tissue and organs from Adolfi's chupacabra are currently undergoing testing. Adolfi says he's anxious to learn the results and see where the legend of the chupacabra leads next.
Adolfi's chupacabra will remain on display at the Lost World Museum through the end of the month.