After an odd occurrence at the Amarillo Zoo near the end of last month, the city’s government issued a press release on Wednesday looking for answers.
Per the release, at approximately 1:30 a.m. on May 21, a shadowy figure appeared on the zoo’s security cameras. The object, person, or animal seen in the security footage is being called “a UAO” — an “Unidentified Amarillo Object.”
Suggestions have ranged from a large coyote on its hind legs, a man in a large hat, a chupacabra, and a prankster dressed in a wolf costume, among others.
In the statement, City of Amarillo Director of Parks and Recreation Michael Kashuba said, “We just want to let the Amarillo community have some fun with this. It is important to note that this entity was outside the Amarillo Zoo.”
“There were no signs of attempted entry into the zoo. No animals or individuals were harmed. There were no signs of criminal activity or vandalism,” he said.
“It is definitely a strange and interesting image. Maybe Amarillo can help solve the mystery of our UAO. The release also states that no additional angles, video, or other information will be made available, so guesses or tips must be made based on the widely-circulated photograph alone,” he added.
Some Twitter users have already offered suggestions, including a man named Michael Olsen, who tweeted, “I don’t know why the City of Amarillo needs help identifying what is clearly a chupacabra, but I’m here to serve.”
Other users replied to a post by The Insider Paper’s tweet about the story suggesting that it may have been a member of the internet subculture known as “furries,” who dress up in animal costumes.
Replies to a tweet by NBC LA suggested Sonic the Hedgehog, Predator from the movie Predator, chupacabras, and Michael Jackson’s werewolf character from the music video to the song “Thriller.”
A chupacabra is a creature from urban legends originating in both North and South America. It resembles a dog, a wolf, or a coyote but stands on its hind legs. The name is derived from Spanish words meaning “goat sucker” because the creature is said to drink the blood of goats and other animals.
The exact identity of the person or creature shown in the photograph remains a mystery. Tips, guesses, or other ideas about what the photograph shows can be submitted via email at [email protected] or through the City of Amarillo’s social media pages.