Residents of a southern California neighborhood claimed the mythical ‘chupacabra’ is stalking their pets, reported The Mercury News Saturday.

Cary Shuker, a Riverside, California resident, said one morning his cat ran into his home scared of something. He described the animal standing outside his home as a hairless creature with a tail like a rat or a possum, pinkish skin and jagged teeth. He added it was “at least two feet or more longer than the biggest coyote you’ve ever seen.”

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“The thing was standing out there, looking at me. It was the ugliest looking thing,” said Shuker, a private contractor living at the base of Box Springs Mountain. “I yelled at it, in a big deep voice, ‘Get out of here! I stole its breakfast. It was hunting my cat.’”

“This wasn’t no coyote, by any means,” he added.

coyote A small wild animal, possibly a fox or a coyote pup, tries to escape the flames near Wrightwood, California, August 17, 2016. Box Springs Mountain residents believe a chupacabra, or goat sucker, a hairless animal with a long snout resembling a coyote, is stalking their animals. However, it is more likely that a coyote or similar animal afflicted with mange is following the pets. Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Other Box Springs Mountain residents had similar encounters with the mysterious creature with a ‘long snout’ and ‘no hair.’ Some said they think the animal following their pets is the mythical chupacabra, whose name means ‘goat sucker’ in Spanish. The name was first coined when a Puerto Rican woman named Madelyne Tolentino saw the creature outside her window. Sightings have since then been reported in parts of Latin America and the United States.

However, experts said the ‘chupacabra’ is most likely a canine afflicted with mange, a parasitic skin disease that can cause hair loss from frantic scratching. In February of 2016, another Southern California community reported chupacabra sightings, according to ABC-affiliate KGTV at the time. Researchers reported the alleged chupacabra was actually a coyote affected by mange.

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Lauren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine, concluded the creature roaming Box Springs Mountain was most likely a coyote or canine affected with mange. A DNA test from the animal’s saliva could prove the animal is a coyote or another similar animal.  

“People label dog-like cryptic beasts ‘Chupacabras’ because they love mysteries, and it’s the hip thing to do,” she said.

“The chupacabra is not a recognized species by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Chupacabras are not a thing,” said Andrew Hughnan, spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

According to Hughnan, his department received one or two calls a year from residents claiming they have seen a chupacabra.

Box Springs Mountain residents continued claims that the animal around their neighborhood is too large to be a coyote, an animal with which they’re familiar from years of living in the area.

“It sounds like the craziest, made-up story,” Shuker said. “But it’s not.”