'Chupacabra' found in Eugene arrives at Oregon Zoo - KPTV - FOX 12

'Chupacabra' found in Eugene arrives at Oregon Zoo

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(Photo: Oregon Zoo) (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
(Photo: First Avenue Shelter/Greenhill Humane Society) (Photo: First Avenue Shelter/Greenhill Humane Society)

An exotic animal, native to Latin America, was found wandering the streets of Eugene last month and has now made its way to his new home at the Oregon Zoo.

Chupacabra moved into the Oregon Zoo this week, but he's not the bloodthirsty creature of folklore.

"Chupacabra is his name, but actually he's a Patagonian mara, native to Argentina," said Tanya Paul, Oregon Zoo program animal supervisor.

The Oregon Zoo said the animal, that looks 'like a cross between a capybara and a giant jackrabbit,' was found in Eugene last month and taken in by the First Avenue Shelter. His owner was identified, but the shelter arranged for Chupacabra to be transferred to the zoo since the species requires specialized care.

"Many exotic animals have complex care needs that are often best met by people with specialized training at licensed and properly equipped facilities, such as AZA-accredited zoos," Paul said. "Responsible pet ownership choices are healthier for people, animals and the environment."

Chupacabra will spend 30 days in quarantine at the zoo's vet center.

After those 30 days, Chupacabra will become one of the zoo's ambassador animals.

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