Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 18th, 2006
National pride, long term observations, reports of a colony, and a supposedly novel theory are the breaking news out of Malaysia today. But wait a minute, is the Johor Wildlife Protection Society merely talking about orangutans?
News out of Malaysia on February 18, 2006, indicates that the Johor Wildlife Protection Society says they have:
scientific evidence to prove the existence of Bigfoot whose reported sightings recently in the Johor jungles have excited the world’s media. Not just one Bigfoot but a whole colony of the giant, hairy creatures which the society named "Orang Lenggor" (Lenggor People) as one was spotted in an area by that name, said the society’s secretary Tay Teng Hwa.
Noting they will make the evidence public soon, they report they have studied the cryptids for six years and interacted directly with them.
The Johor Wildlife Protection Society claims:
The adult creatures are between 10 and 12 feet tall while their children are 6 to 7 footers. Seventy per cent of the Orang Lenggor have a human appearance but the rest resemble apes…They like to eat fish and fruits they gather in the jungles, including durian. They also have a liking for river water that contains dissolved salt and would walk for miles to get it.
A key here is durian, the favorite fruit of an ape we already know a lot about. Is the society talking about orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), a species that currently inhabits only the islands of Sumatra and Borneo? The orangutan was once found throughout Indo-China, Malaysia and north to China. Fossil evidence discussed by the anthropologist (famed for his work on the Gigantopithecus), Ralph von Koenigswald, suggests that, during the Pleistocene, orangutan distribution extended from Java in the south, across mainland Asia, and reached up as far north as China. Could these Malaysian "Bigfoot" reports be a relict population of Pongo?
Bernard Heuvelmans tracked orangutan-like cryptids from Assam, Burma, China, and Vietnam, through the literature, and felt (in his 1986 checklist) they could be mainland orangutan populations in other locations than Sumatra and Borneo. Will Malaysia’s "Orang Lenggor" turn out to be orangutans?
The "Orang Lenggor" reportedly have black hair on their bodies when they are young but the hair gradually turns brown as they grew older. The coloration of the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) can vary from a reddish-brown to a nearly black coat and with various degrees of hair length.
The society’s timing for revealing its discovery, they allege, is due to foreigners armed with sophisticated equipment who were entering the Johor jungles to track down Bigfoot without the knowledge of the state government.
"We are worried these foreigners might find Bigfoot and then announce to the world as their discovery," they have told the media.
The society is planning to field an expedition to the "Orang Lenggor" colony in either March or April 2006.
For more links to all the Malaysian Bigfoot accounts, including the links to the exclusive Harold Stephens’ interviews and all previous Malay posts, see the bottom of the post here.
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.