A family in Texas claim to have captured a live chupacabra, a mythical creature with a reputation for sucking blood from livestock across America.

The somewhat unlikely tale began when Jackie Stock and her husband Bubba discovered a growling, hairless animal in their back garden.

Bubba captured the wrinkly beast and locked it in a cage to allow friends and neighbours to take a look at the animal – although the couple insist they are feeding it and giving it water.

"We were just trying to figure out what it is because we've never seen anything like it before,” Jackie told News reporters

A wildlife expert told the network the animal was more likely to be a dog, fox or coyote with mange.

Descriptions of chupacabra sightings have varied, but many who claim to have seen the cryptid say it closely resembles a coyote but with a skinny body covered in matted patches of hair.

The first sightings were reported in Puerto Rico as early as 1995.

In February another Texas family claimed to have caught and killed a chupacabra, although local wildlife experts were not convinced.

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