It’s Friday. That means it’s time to marvel at one of the oddest-looking critters you’ve probably ever seen. “Chupacabra?” the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (AWFFD) asked in a Facebook post showing an almost completely hairless—and pretty darn ugly—canine. A chupacabra is a mystical vampirical creature thought to drink the blood of livestock.
“As much as we’d love a real cryptozoological confirmation, this ‘goat sucker’ is actually a coyote severely impacted by mange,” the AWFFD explains. “The burrowing of mange mites leads to itching and hair loss, and some affected individuals can become quite debilitated and eventually succumb to issues caused by this condition. Others, with a healthy immune system and good nutrition, may eventually overcome all effects of mange and recover. Things aren’t looking good for this fellow, but animals can live for an extended period of time with this malady.”
The AWFFD did not disclose where the trail cam photos were captured. The agency says that mange can be found statewide in Alabama and that it has received several recent reports of mange in Talladega and Lee Counties. Besides coyotes, mange is known to impact deer, foxes, black bears, and more.
Mange is a highly contagious affliction, though domestic pets are protected from the disease as long as they receive monthly flea and tick medicine. According to the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab, Ivermectin can be used to successfully treat mange, but it’s not typically used on free-range wildlife because it needs to be administered repeatedly.