On the Trail of Florida's Skunk Ape

Florida’s version of Bigfoot is called the Skunk Ape, for its terrible odor. It’s been sighted for many years in the swamplands of the Everglades. Dave Shealy is the Skunk Ape’s biggest fan. He was only ten when he first saw a Skunk Ape, and that wasn’t his last sighting. Shealy runs the  Skunk Ape Research Headquarters on his property near Big Cypress National Preserve. He was happy to tell author Joseph Stromberg the history of the ape.

“Local Native American groups from around here, the Seminoles and the Miccosukee tribe, they’ve known and told stories about the skunk ape for centuries,” he said. Over the past 60 years or so, Floridians of all stripes began reporting that they were seeing the creature. (A similar pattern happened in the Pacific Northwest, where indigenous beliefs in the Sasquatch eventually led to the skunk ape’s better-known cousin, Bigfoot.)

In one of the earliest well-publicized sightings, a pair of hunters claimed the ape invaded their camp in 1957. It’s unclear who coined the name skunk ape, but it appears to have surfaced sometime during the '60s. During the 1960s and '70s, the period when Shealy had his first sighting, more and more reports trickled in, as far north as the Florida panhandle, but most often in the Everglades. The skunk ape eventually attracted mainstream attention, including a bill introduced (but not passed) in the Florida legislature in 1977 that would have made it illegal to “take, possess, harm or molest anthropoid or humanoid animals.” It was around this time that Shealy, a teenager, spotted evidence of the creature for the second time, in the form of enormous four-toed footprints left at night near his hunting camp deep in the Big Cypress interior.

But that’s just the beginning of the many sightings. Shealy even has a video from an encounter in 2000. Stromberg looked over the evidence -or rather, the lack of real, physical evidence- and decided the Skunk Ape must be as apocryphal as Sasquatch. But then he latched onto a clue that might explain the sightings reported over the years. Read the rest of the story at Smithsonian.

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Met a black bear on a trail in BC.
What they describe here is how bears smell.
But there are no bears in Florida, apparently.
Therefore: It's a cryptiod!!!!!
QED, really.
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