Search This Blog

Skunk Ape

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Floridians began coming forward to make their encounters with their “Skunk Ape” known. Florida police received a torrent of reports claiming a similar creature was living in the state’s swamplands. Many witnesses described the beast as like an ape standing upright, seven feet tall and covered in light brown hair. In all it sounded like a Bigfoot clone, but there was one unique aspect to the Florida monster – it smelled like a strong mixture of rotten eggs, manure and an elephant’s cage. As with Bigfoot in the Northwestern United States and Sasquatch in Canada, legends of an apelike monster that haunts the more remote areas of Florida have been in circulation since the early days of that state’s history. And as with the legends of the hairy giants of the North, members of Native American tribes insisted the centuries-old tales were true. On December 5, 1966, Orlando Sentinel staff writer Elvis Lane wrote about two hunters who claimed to have wounded the monster.

Skunk Ape sightings
Image credit:

Although it left a trail of blood, the creature—at that time dubbed the “Florida Sandman,” in contrast to the “Abominable Snowman”—seemed relatively unscathed by their volley, and the two men fled in the opposite direction. In another report, Lane described how the son of a ranch hand had gone to investigate the sounds of someone opening their garage and had surprised the hairy giant raising the door. When the young man shouted his alarm, the monster threw a heavy tire at him. One witness said it had the scent of a skunk that had just been rolling around inside a dustbin lorry. It was given the name the ‘Skunk Ape’. After the initial flurry of sightings, the Skunk Ape phenomenon waned. Some pictures, footprint casts and hair samples were collected, but appearances of the Skunk Ape came to an abrupt halt. There were suggestions it had been caught by the US Army and imprisoned at the Everglades National Park. Area residents also complained about the Sandman or Skunk Ape peeping in their windows at night. Others said that they had had garbage cans upset by a huge creature that retreated into the night when they clicked on yardlights.

The more observant eyewitnesses described the nocturnal marauder as standing between six and seven feet tall and weighing somewhere between 300 and 400 pounds. Nearly every witness mentioned the terrible stench that accompanied the giant intruder. According to some of its pursuers, the creature lives in muddy and abandoned alligator caves deep in the steamy Everglades swamp. The alligators leave the rotting remains of their kills behind to putrefy in the heat of their hideaways, and the Skunk Apes absorb the stench into their hair, thus accounting for their awful smell. Although the Skunk Ape is said to be primarily a vegetarian and often steals produce from area gardens, Everglades hunters claim to have seen the giant kill a deer and split open its belly to get at the liver and entrails. In 1980, large footprints, complete with the impression of toes, were found in the Ocala National Forest.

The sheriff’s department estimated that the unknown creature that had made the prints was about 10 feet tall and weighed around 1,000 pounds. On Monday evening, July 21, 1997, Vince Doerr, chief of the Ochopee Fire Central District, told the Miami Herald that he had seen “a brown-looking tall thing” run across the road ahead of him. He was certain that the thing was not a bear. Ochopee borders the Everglades, and a few days after Doerr’s sighting, a group of six British tourists and their guide, Dan Rowland, saw a Skunk Ape on Turner River Road, just north of the town.

According to Rowland’s statement in the Miami Herald (July 28, 1997), the unknown apelike creature was between six and seven feet tall, “flat-faced, broad-shouldered, covered with long brown hair or fur and reeking of skunk.” The seven witnesses observed the Skunk Ape “in a slough covered with bald cypress trees.” Rowland added that “…it loped along like a big monkey or gorilla, then it disappeared into the woods.” In February 2001, the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department received an anonymous letter containing some photographs of an apelike creature that had been taken by a woman who feared that an orangutan was running loose in the area of Myakka State Park and might harm members of her family. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, who examined the pictures along with animal welfare specialist David Barkasy, said that they appeared to be good graphic evidence for the unknown anthropoid known as the Florida Skunk Ape. According to Coleman, “The photographs clearly show a large, upright dark orangutan-like animal among the palmettos, showing eye-shine and typical anthropoid behavior of fright due to the woman’s flash camera.”

This urban myth said that the creature escaped by smashing through a concrete wall and returned to his swampland home. Some Skunk Ape watchers believe he has taken up residence at the Big Cypress National Preserve, but none of the 70 rangers who patrol the area have ever seen him. In the last few years however, new sightings have appeared in Ochapee, Florida. A group of tourists who were being shown round the Everglades saw a large ape-like creature moving around the edge of a nearby swamp. Later it was seen crossing the road outside the house of a local fire chief. The man found his camera and photographed the beast as it retreated into the swampland. The photo does show a large brown, hirsute monster, but even the man who took the photograph says he thinks the creature could well be a man in an ape-suit. With confidence like that from first-hand witnesses, what hope is there that the Skunk Ape really exists?


Post a Comment

* Please Don't Spam Here. All the Comments are Reviewed by Admin.
  1. Hi, Nice Blog, Visit My Site Or Create My Link :)


  2. very nice post bro, i will be back for more!!!

    Success With Women

  3. Read about my cryptozoological find while hunting in the Florida interior at I became fascinated by the sightings of 'hairy bipeds' in Florida ever since I read about the "monster" that terrorized the town of Holopaw in the 60's.


Below Post Ads