Africa Doesn’t Need Bigfoot

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on April 3rd, 2013

When I left for Africa, stories in the U.S. media were reporting Bigfoot sightings in Oregon, Alaska and even Connecticut. Among the questions I have about Bigfoot is why one never gets accidentally shot during hunting season the way hunters and dogs do. Surely Bigfoot doesn’t wear an orange hunting vest.

Another Bigfoot question: why have such legends not reached Africa? I now know the answer to that one. Africa needs no Bigfoot myths because it already has plenty of the real thing – very large animals with very big feet. I actually saw two African wild dogs drinking water out of a rhinoceros footprint. Bigfoot indeed.

While visiting South Africa with Mike Dorcas, a professor at Davidson College, I heard no stories about the sort of creatures that reside in people’s imagination rather than in the real world. Stories about legendary animals may exist in some parts of Africa, but they are certainly not needed where we were. At least seven species of large mammals that roam wild have been documented as killing people without remorse. When you throw Africa’s large vipers, mambas and cobras into the mix, the I-can-kill-you-if-I-so-choose list passes a dozen.

I was greatly impressed with South Africa. The conservation attitudes in the country are outstanding. Our safari guides were highly trained professionals. And the animals themselves provide the greatest wildlife show on earth.

Meanwhile, if Bigfoot does exist and should happen to visit South Africa, I suggest that he stay inside the vehicle.

Send environmental questions to

Whit Gibbons is an ecologist and environmental educator with the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.


Africa may not need Bigfoot, but what about the Spiny-Backed Chimpanzee?

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

5 Responses to “Africa Doesn’t Need Bigfoot”

  1. Hapa responds:

    Sasquatch like creatures are on the record as being reported from Africa: The Tano Giant, a white skinned, black haired, monkey headed True Giant that was said to wear cow skin when it was cold and snatch people up, was reported in what is modern day Ghana as far back as 1911. Loren Coleman, in his book “True Giants”, mentions that other such stories are noted there, but that the Tano Giant is one of the very few that matches the description of the Cryptid True Giant (Page 64). Another is the huge Hadendoa of East Africa, and there is the possibility that the Wa’ab of Sudan may be one as well (ilbid).

    Also, there is the Agogwe, a “Littlefoot”, a animal similar to Orang Pendek, supposidly native throughout East Africa (Crypto-zoology A to Z, page 24-25). And of course everyone familiar with the controversies and science of human origins knows of the many upright primates found in the fossil record there, some of which, like Homo Heidelbergensis and Paranthropus Aetheopicus, the latter of which may have been 5 feet 9 and weighed about 200 lbs, while the former had populations where males could reach 6 feet 4, or possibly even higher than that.

    Also, we must remember two other Sasquatch-like monsters said to roam the continent and were once thought as myths: the Pongo and the Nigali/Nigila, both of which were discovered: Pongos were in reality Lowland Gorillas (the first time Gorillas as a whole were known to the Western World, i.e. 1847.) and the mountain monsters called Nigali/Nigila were the majestic Mountain Gorilla (found in 1902 by Von Beringe). And Indeed, Gorillas have more similarities to Sasquatch than most think: they both can walk upright (Gorillas can do so for up to 25 feet, and when they do walk upright, they look surprisingly similar to the images of Patty in the Patterson-Gimlin film), are both similar in size, both have the prominent saggital crest, and both were the subjects of supposed supernatural powers (in some Native American accounts, Sasquatch are indeed supernatural beings, and Pongos were said to have some unearthly powers in their own right).

    Sadly, Gorillas are threatened by humans with climate change, habitat loss, and mass paoching, and should Sasquatch be indeed discovered, it is up to us to make sure that, once they are proven, whether by gunfire or not, that they do not fall prey to such mass slaughter that the Gentle Giants of Africa fell prey to after their discovery. Yet, it is telling that, in both cases, the Lowland and Mountain Gorillas were discovered not by photograph of film; the former was discovered through skeletal remains, and the latter was shot.

  2. DWA responds:

    And another hoary skeptical pooh-pooh: the we-don’t-need-them-here (close cousin to “there’s enough wonder in the world without this crap.”)

    Not only is what Hapa points out correct (and we won’t add here what the primate assemblage in the Americas says about potential for large hairy hominoids, of which there are reliable reports from Central and South as well as North America). But this “argument” practically disqualifies as open-minded anyone who uses it. Scientists aren’t allowed to talk past evidence, for any reason. Total lack of either imagination or wonder – two prerequisites for all serious groundbreaking science – don’t justify failing to look at, and pronounce upon, evidence.

    I found the evidence. It isn’t hidden. If you are a scientist, either you can too….or you ain’t a scientist.

    (I am a grammarian. Don’t test me. Ain’t is a word if I use it.)

  3. norman-uk responds:

    Some truth in your statement Whit,

    ” Africa needs no Bigfoot myths because it already has plenty of the real thing ( maybe myth is the wrong word ).”

    This could include the Bili ape which in some ways may fit an African version of bigfoot, comfirmed in 1990 and the 125,000 lowland gorilla discovered in 2007. Though both are amazing events how many people are aware of them ? Then there are fossils like those of sedipa whos quantity and quality, possibly tissue samples, almost bring them to life !

    There are reports of bigfoot type creatures but admittedly seem to be few and far between now and historicaly some impressive reports. Is it any wonder these do not make an impact like those of bigfoot living (yes live ) on the doorstep of a modern society !

    I wonder if you asked your guides about such things entranced as you were by the brilliance of what you were able to see on a platter for you in relative comfort would they too be unaware ?

    Isnt it quite possible in a land where until this century at least a large population of the (until then ) uncomfirmed Bili ape should exist and ditto a hugh gorilla population that where there is anecdotal evidence of something more, that there should indeed be something more, hidden by the fog of war and other distactions ? That these reports refer to something no more a myth but real as are reports of bigfoot in america ?

    It may be a bit of a stretch for some to get far enough into the evidence for new himinoids etc but if you do a rational person cannot but be persuaded of a powerful prima facie case and what an interesting possibility !

    Why dont you join us ?

  4. norman-uk responds:

    NB afarensis sedipa

  5. eyeofstrm responds:

    The Bili Ape is pretty damn close to Bigfoot I would say. After a 2 year long expedition a group finally caught some on video, good clear footage. They are now discovering these Bili Apes may outnumber Chimpanzees in Africa. Most Bigfoot expeditions only last a few weeks at most.

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