Chupacabra Adopted as City Mascot

By Omar Villafranca
|  Friday, May 21, 2010  |  Updated 5:06 PM CDT
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Meet Runaway Bay's Mysterious Mascot

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Meet Runaway Bay's Mysterious Mascot

The Wise County city has named the chupacabra its official mascot.
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Fort Worth has the historic Stockyards. San Antonio has the Alamo. Runaway Bay has the chupacabra.

That's right.  The chupacabra.  The legendary goat-sucker.

On Tuesday night, the Runaway Bay City Council passed a resolution that would make the chupacabra the city's official mascot.

"We take the business of Runaway Bay seriously," Greg Leveling, city administrator. "We saw an opportunity to have a little fun with the situation that happened here in January, and it's taken on a life of it's own."

Someone found the carcass of a hairless, odd-looking beast on the 14th hole of city's golf course in January. When pictures were published in the Wise County Messenger, residents started saying the creature looked like the famed chupacabra.

Animal experts later said the beast was really just a diseased raccoon. But Runaway Bay residents say the attention was great for the city.

"We are already internationally famous," Beth Anderson said. "We were on Google."

The council credited Anderson with the idea to name the chupacabra the city's mascot.

City leaders plan to put an image of the animal on T-shirts that will be sold at the annual Independence Day celebration. Leveling said some of the proceeds from the T-shirt sales would help Runaway Bay Alliance, a local charity.

The city resolution also protects the chupacabra. Residents joke that that's a good thing, -- just in case any others are in the area.

"I have great concern for the little critter. Actually, I think I have a den of them behind my house, and I was quite worried because we do have hunters in the neighborhood," Anderson said with a grin.

"This community started as 'run away to Runaway Bay,'" Leveling said. "What I can tell you is, when you run away to Runaway Bay, you have a better than average chance of finding the dreaded and legendary chupacabra."

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