Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 29th, 2006
An earlier Bili or Bondo Ape foot cast from an information-gathering trek of cryptozoologist Karl Ammann.
There’s breaking news from a recent exploration to collect data on the Bili Ape:
Mystery apes of central Africa are chubby chimps (AFP) 28 June 2006 PARIS – A tribe of apes living in remote forests in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo are unusually large chimpanzees, not a new species of giant ape or a chimp-gorilla hybrid, New Scientist says. Zoologists became excited after people living around Bili, a town about 200 kilometres (120 miles) east of the Ebola River, recounted tales of seeing huge ferocious apes with a taste for killing lions. From photographs, the creatures were estimated to weigh about 100 kilos (220 pounds) and their footprints, at up to 34 centimetres (13.6 inches), were longer than a gorilla’s. But a year-long hunt by Cleve Hicks and colleagues from the University of Amsterdam shows there is only a “negligible” chance that the enigmatic apes are a new branch of the primate tree. Hicks were able to observe the animals for a total of 20 hours. “I see nothing gorilla about them. The females definitely have a chimp’s sex swellings, they pant-hoot and tree-drum, and so on,” he told the British science weekly, whose report appears in Saturday’s issue. Samples of a DNA recovered from faeces also put the animals in a recognised subspecies of chimp, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii.
Shelly Williams with the Bili Ape foot cast, 2003.
Even so, the Bili apes are unusual, as they have a gorilla-like crest on their skulls and howl during the full moon. About 18 kms (11 miles) northwest of Bili, Hicks came across a large community of the animals that apparently had never met a human before. “It’s fantastic. They surround us and show curiosity — even the adult males. It is these guys we want to study,” said Hicks.
Source: Khaleej Times, June 28, 2006.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.