A search is underway for a mysterious predator which has been attacking livestock in the central Colombian department of Boyaca.
Concern has been mounting over the past month among rural Boyaca communities, due to the spate of bloody attacks against livestock, reported Colombian media Monday.
The most recent killing was discovered early Monday morning on the outskirts of the department’s capital Tunja, bringing the grim total to some 20 butchered animals, including calves, bulls and, allegedly, a donkey.
The creature responsible for the killings has yet to be identified and stories have rapidly sprung up among the local population, many of whom believe the culprit to be the mythical beast “chupacabra,” or goat slaughterer.
“In a single night the creature killed one cow and four calves, but since we put scapulars on all our cow, none have been attacked,” claimed farmer Transito Cifuentes.
Local residents’ explanation of the slaughter contrasts with that of vet Ricardo Garcia of the University Juan de Castellanos, who was assigned to investigate the activities of pumas forced onto farmland due to deforestation in surrounding natural reserves.
“Because of the nature of the attack, this could be a puma teaching her cubs to hunt, but it has been several weeks since we saw trace of a puma in the region,” said Garcia.
Locals remain reluctant to believe that a cat could be capable of bringing down cows and bulls, and leaving their mutilated carcasses uneaten.
According to El Tiempo, experts from the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Boyaca have been sent to take samples from the dead animals in order to ascertain who or what is responsible for the killings.