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Overkill? Or Really Orang?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 22nd, 2007

This is the trap being deployed for the “fox squirrel” or “spider monkey,” reportedly theorized to be in Baker County, Florida, instead of the originally-described “orangutan.” What is this equipment usually employed to trap? Bears.

Nov 2007 Florida trap

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.

24 Responses to “Overkill? Or Really Orang?”

  1. greywolf responds:

    Looks like a bear trap to me.and if they have a Orangutan that has gone wild from a zoo etc. then good luck . I doubt that it is a Fox squirrel or a spider monkey.

  2. Ceroill responds:

    Might be just what you need though, for a hypermuscular tree climbing otter.

  3. goobles responds:

    i live in jacksonville, which isn’t too far from baker county, and you really have to understand the mindset of the locals here. as you may know, when the creature was first reported in a tree, animal control services decided that the best course of action was to leave a box of donuts at the bottom and come back the next morning. needless to say, that failed. and why no one thought to take a picture of the animal while it was up there is beyond me. just be glad they didn’t build a giant mousetrap.

  4. mystery_man responds:

    It would probably be fine for an orangutan, which incidentally is my own hypothesis as to what it is. Seems a bit elaborate to catch a squirrel, or even a spider monkey, though. If that is really what they think it is, there are more sensible ways to catch those than with a bear trap. I wonder if the size of the trap being employed is any indication that the ones who set this trap are themselves thinking that it could very well be an orang? What are they using as bait? Jelly donuts?

  5. apebait responds:

    Jelly donuts? Maybe it’s Homer Simpson they’re after. Anybody that can’t tell the difference between a squirrel monkey and an orangutan needs to do a little research. I believe anybody that isn’t even interested in zoology or primates would know the difference between the two.

    Maybe there was nothing there to begin with.

  6. jrenn responds:

    Geez!! What are they feeding the squirrels over there??

  7. chrisandclauida2 responds:


  8. kolobe responds:

    Dont these traps work on weight of the animal to trigger them? If so they must be expecting a squirrel on steroids!!

  9. MrInspector responds:

    Well, if it is an Orang, I doubt the trap will hold it. If it were dumb enough to enter it anyway, which I doubt. I can say that if that trap is to catch the animal in question, they aren’t looking for a freaking squirrel. Looks like a dog catcher’s overnight rig.

  10. mystery_man responds:

    Mr. Inspector- Well, it says that it is a trap for bears. I’m pretty sure anything that could hold a full grown bear will most likely be able to hold an orangutan as well. But I think you are right, looking at the photo I think the question is if the shabby looking trap pictured is actually capable of holding either. I guess it could hold a squirrel, though. :)

  11. graybear responds:

    If the creature really is a squirrel or a spider monkey (which is hardly a dangerous or threatening animal, and would probably do well in Florida–other monkeys do), why are they trying to capture the poor little thing, anyway? Does this ridiculous overkill make sense to anyone? If it isn’t an orang (or maybe a peroxide chimp from Miami), then leave it alone!

  12. squatch-toba responds:

    The trap in the picture is a live trap used for bears. The door of the trap drops when the animal enters the trap and pulls in bait suspended from a trigger rope inside. These traps are used safley for black and grizzly bears and would hold any other critter securly. The orangutan, if that is what it is, might be smart enough to just lift the door back up though!!!!

  13. kittenz responds:

    Maybe they think it could be a cinnamon bear.

  14. bill green responds:

    this is a great new update article about the floriida ape. thanks bill green :)

  15. Saint Vitus responds:

    That would be pretty funny if they set that huge trap and all they caught was a squirrel!

  16. bucko responds:

    I hear ya, Saint Vitus. :-)

  17. MrInspector responds:

    Dear mystery_man, Just because a trap would hold a bear doesn’t even come close to making it orang proof. It’s not about strength, it’s about brains/thumbs. Orangs are known by primate keepers as the “escape artists” of the zoo. They can operate levers, latches, locks, etc. They don’t just fool with them until they get them open, they study them and figure out how they work and remember it. Some have been known to hide paper clips in order to pick cage locks, steal keys, re-lock the cages, and return the keys when they are done to cover their tracks. They’re incredibly smart animals and not a pet for the layman.

    This makes me wonder if maybe there isn’t an orangutan running around Florida. If someone tried to keep one as a pet and didn’t know enough about orangs, it’s possible it escaped and this person doesn’t want to tell anyone. I’m pretty sure Florida has laws concerning the ownership of great apes.

    Anyway, I’m still not so sure this is a bear trap, it looks more like a dog catcher’s over night rig. This thing looks awful small to go catching bears with.

  18. mystery_man responds:

    MrInspector- You are absolutely right, and I am well aware of what orangutans can do as well as how smart they are. The intelligence and thumbs would be a potent tool for getting out of this thing and it was something I wasn’t really considering with this trap as I suspected that it locked tight, which doesn’t seem to be the case. In any case, you are right that something simple enough to hold a bear may be able to be figured out by an orang. I wasn’t sure how this rig worked at first, but it seems that the door can be simply lifted.

  19. mystery_man responds:

    It would be especially escapable if the orang happened to have one of those paper clips handy. :)

  20. squatch-toba responds:

    The more I look at the trap, I can’t help but wonder if it might be a live trap for gators. It looks kind of long and narrow for a bear trap the more I look at it,…just throwing it out there!!!

  21. kittenz responds:

    I believe that it IS a bear trap. The game warden here uses a trap very similar to this one for capturing “problem” black bears. The traps look like big, heavy-duty metal oil drums with holes for ventilation and a trap door at each end. He brings the bears by to let us have a look at them after capture. Most of the bears are youngish animals which are dispersing, and they have gotten into trouble raiding people’s garbage. Those are trapped, weighed & measured, & tissue samples taken, after which they are tagged and released in very remote wilderness areas with good bear habitat. The ones who have been captured and tagged three or more times may not be so lucky; depending on their circumstances and level of aggression, they may be relocated again or they may be humanely destroyed.

    A surprisingly large bear can fit into a surprisingly small drum trap. The traps are intended to be of a size that will hold the bear safely, while somewhat limiting its movement, to make the bear easier to anesthetize and prevent it being able to thrash around in the trap and injure itself.

    And hey, don’t underestimate the intelligence of bears! Those critters are SMART! They may look clumsy but they aren’t, and their paws are very dextrous.

  22. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, it is a bear-trap, and is identified as such in this blog.

  23. squatch-toba responds:

    Hi LOren & Kittenz…. I made that comment remembering what bear traps were like the last time I’d seen one set. I’ve never been to Florida, and I’ve never had the chance to meet one of the fine folks from there to know what a “gator trap” would look like! No offence to anyone, like I said, just putting it out there!! Hope you all have a safe, fun holiday week-end!!! The Thanksgiving in Canada is in October!!! Hey,… All the best to all the fans of CRYPTOMUNDO…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. mystery_man responds:

    Kittenz- I don’t think bears are dumb or clumsy. I was merely agreeing with Mr.Inspector that what is required to hold a bear in terms of trap design versus what would be needed to hold an orangutan is perhaps different.

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