The National Food Safety and Quality Service (SENASA) has finally solved the mystery effecting farmers from Valle de Punilla, in Córdoba, where several cows and horses were found dead, apparently after being attacked by some sort of animal predator.
The strange bites on the animals’ bodies, mostly on the neck and the underside, were immediately attributed to the chupacabras, a creature from Latin American folklore that, according to legend, drinks the blood of livestock, particularly goats.
However, experts from the SENASA confirmed yesterday that the deaths are caused by an outbreak of a type of rabies transmitted by common vampire bats, located in San Marcos Sierras.
Local residents had previously stated that it was a “vampire that kills animals. More than 40 have been killed. We’re looking for it. It’s a big bat, maybe as big an eagle,” said José Gonçalvez, from San Marcos Sierras, in conversation with Cadena 3.
SENASA had determined a vaccination area for cows, pigs and horses last April, and has now strengthened the sanitary measures. The department also warned inhabitants not to touch dead animals or those exhibiting nervous system related symptoms.
On its website SENASA warns that “contact with infected animals may be dangerous to humans.” They also explain that the infection can be transmitted through giving medicine to the animals, or when farmers try to unblock the esophagus manually. Household pets are also at risk but seem to be affected in far fewer numbers.
Looks like chupacabras has escaped yet again!