Posted by: Craig Woolheater on May 28th, 2008
COLLIER COUNTY: Scotland has its Loch Ness Monster. The Himalayas has its Yeti. But in the Everglades of Southwest Florida – it’s all about the skunk ape. ABC7 found out why a skunk ape researcher believes he found proof that, not only do these animals exist, but that they’re also breeding.
The Big Cypress Natural Preserve is home to many animals. But only a few believe it is actually home to the skunk ape.
Devoting 40 years to Skunk Ape research, Dave Shealy stumbled on a rare find – what he says are their breeding grounds. He showed ABC7 the spot where supposed skunk ape droppings, along with water and animal traffic, prove his theory.
“This particular area contains everything that a small group of animals would need to survive and this is where we found the track,” said Shealy.
That track, found Friday morning, is believed to be from that of a young skunk ape.
“The more I looked at it and saw the round toes and the differences, that’s when I knew I found a juvenile skunk ape track. I was very excited,” said Shealy.
He says wide open spaces are where a skunk ape is most likely to be. But the big question is if they really exist, how come so few people claim to have seen them.
“You don’t always see them – they’re wild animals,” said Shealy.
Shealy went back out Friday night hoping his new find will get him one step closer to shedding light on the skunk ape mystery.Susie Hassan
Heck, the skunk ape was the 4th most searched term on yahoo! search yesterday!