National

Hairless animal looked like chupacabra or Chihuahua, but the reality was sadder

Orlando, Florida, animal rescuers discovered a hairless, sickly animal that looked like a Chihuahua or a mythical chupacabra underneath a car — and identified it as a raccoon, which is now fighting to stay alive.
Orlando, Florida, animal rescuers discovered a hairless, sickly animal that looked like a Chihuahua or a mythical chupacabra underneath a car — and identified it as a raccoon, which is now fighting to stay alive. Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge

A mysterious, hairless animal was found on Friday as it huddled for warmth under a car in Orlando, Florida — and those who discovered her puzzled over what kind of animal she was.

Some thought it looked like a Chihuahua. Others wondered if it could be a mythical chupacabra, a vampire-like creature from Latin American folklore, WTSP reports.

After the critter had been trapped, the volunteer who found the animal took it to Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, the nonprofit wrote in a Facebook post this week. The animal was in bad health: She was cold, scared and weak.

“She’s had a rough few days and her health has dwindled,” the rescue organization wrote on Facebook Nov. 19, encouraging animal lovers to donate to support her care.

The group then revealed what the animal was: a hairless raccoon, which may have a genetic mutation or alopecia that has caused its hairlessness, according to Back to Nature. And after she arrived at the rescue group, the animal’s health has only gotten worse.

The animal has been dubbed “Dobby” by some workers at the refuge, which helps rehabilitate hundreds of raccoons a year, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The name is a reference to the loveable house elf in the Harry Potter series. Dobby weighs just 6 pounds, and her feet and noises gave her away as a raccoon, according to the newspaper.

Just a day later, Back to Nature showed how much the animal’s health had deteriorated. The group posted a photo to Facebook showing the ailing animal hooked up to tubes and tucked into a blanket. Back to Nature wrote that “our sweet girl is fighting (and hard) for her life. We are doing all we can for her, and then some! She’s battling an infection that has taken a toll on her quickly.”

The animal is receiving care around the clock, including a feeding tube, antibiotics and an IV drip, Back to Nature said.

It’s not clear if Dobby will make it.

“We’re trying to get her back on track, but she is seriously depleted,” said Debbie Helsel, Back to Nature’s executive director, according to the Sentinel. “I don’t know that she’s going to survive…but everybody else is really rooting for her.”

A hungry raccoon was captured on video running away with a green iguana at Bill Baggs Park in Key Biscayne.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments