For once, it's not the politicians of Washington D.C. who are being called bloodsuckers.
A bizarre animal captured in the suburbs outside the nation's capital has been nicknamed "Prince Chupa" in a nod to the chupacabra -- the famous cryptozoological beast alleged to suck the blood of farm animals.
Since June 1, workers at a hospital in Prince George's County, Md., have spotted a strange creature in the woods during their smoke breaks, NBC Washington reports.
"It's a kangaroo, dog, rat mixed," X-ray technician Joe Livermore told the station. "It's got a rat tail and a head like a deer. I don't know what it is."
Last week, Livermore reportedly used leftover Chinese food and chicken to lure the animal into a trap.
“I didn’t know what to do with him,” said Livermore, who photographed "Prince Chupa" and released it back into the wild. “I didn’t know what it was. People said it was a fox, a deer, a dog.”
Last month, a Texas teenager claimed he shot and killed a chupacabra.
The perceived uptick in sightings might have something to do with the changing definition of the word "chupacabra," Benjamin Radford writes for Discovery News.
Since the 1990s, the definition of the word chupacabras has evolved from a "winged, lizard-like humanoid creature" rumored to drain the blood of livestock in Chilean and Puerto Rican lore to today's catchall term, which is often used to describe any unidentified four-legged animal, whether or not it has platelet-slurping tendencies, notes Huffington Post blogger David Mizejewski.
In this case, "Prince Chupa" likely doesn't live up to its name. Citing the length of its tail and the presence of foxes in the region, MSNBC makes that case that the animal is likely a fox with mange -- a skin disease that can cause animals to lose their hair.