SKUNK APE:Police and wildlife officials comb the Everglades for evidence of an alleged “skunk ape” which a local man claimed to have hit with his automobile. The man said the unclothed being ran away into the ‘glades after being hit. No evidence was found to back up the fact that such an animal exists.
“Skunk Ape’- Is It Real ? Nell Jones has come to love every creature in southern Florida’s Everglades after living among them for 18 years. She’d probably love the “skunk ape,” too, if there is one. Two small poodles, a large dog, a raccoon and a opossum get a daily feeding from her hand, living off her belief that there is ‘”nothing out here that won’t love you if you let it.” That’s why she is upset that reports of an eight-foot tall skunk ape have moved from central Florida’s Cypress Swamp to the area she calls home.
“I believe this is a big, old, funny joke,” said Mrs. Jones, 52, who operates a fish camp, just south of where a sighting of the legendary creature was reported two days ago. “There is nothing out here but just things that you could love if you could get a-hold of them—or that won’t love you if you let them,” Mrs. Jones said.
In the predawn hours Wednesday a motorist traveling along the nearby highway said he saw one twice and even hit one with his car, the dark, hairy creature that previously has been reported-sighted around the west central part of the state, near Brooksville and in The Big Cypress Swamp. The police who combed the area on foot and on halftrack Wednesday and again before dawn Thursday failed to turn up any evidence that any such creature had been in the area, although a patrolman reported seeing a huge silhouette and another said there were trampled bushes and uprooted trees in an area of the swamps.
One believer in the legendary creature, Robert Morgan, is an active member of the American Yeti Expedition, an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Morgan, who joined policemen in their investigation Wednesday, said the so-called skunk ape is a member of the Yeti family that includes the reported “Abomniable Snowman of the Himalayas.” He said “hunters and children alike have seen the Creature…”
Panama City News-Herald
Panama City, Florida
11 Jan 1974, Fri • Page 1
Art by Soule Designs