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The Swamp Ape

By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000


photo
[Times art: Earl Towery]

Most cryptozoologists (those who study extinct or yet-to-be classified species) spend a lot of time in the Everglades searching for Florida's Big Foot -- the fabled Swamp or Skunk Ape.

The beast, usually described as "6 feet tall, with long brown hair," recently was seen walking across a road near Ochopee by a group of British tourists and their guide. But you need not travel so far to catch a glimpse of the animal believed to be a warm-weather relative of the fabled Sasquatch and Yeti.

Over the years, there have been numerous sightings of the elusive primate in Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. While most of the reports come from the area around the Green Swamp, the skunk ape could pop up just about anywhere.

If you are hoping to get a glimpse of this wildman of the woods, some baits have proven more effective than others. Deep-fried pork rinds and chocolate chip cookies have proven effective, but lima beans (fresh, frozen but never canned) are the swamp ape hunters' favorite.

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Outdoors

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  • The Strange Man Biathlon
  • Shelling
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  • The Florida Aquarium

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