MQ News: Sky Terrors, Tigers, Killer Chimps and Cujo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 15th, 2009

Hot off the press are details of new MonsterQuest shows set for airing in the coming weeks (with a revised date for “Killer Chimps in America”):

“MonsterQuest: Real Cujo” 07/22/09
“MonsterQuest: Terror from the Sky” 07/29/09
“MonsterQuest: Killer Chimps in America” 08/05/09
“MonsterQuest: Tigers in the Suburbs” 08/12/09

“MonsterQuest: Real Cujo” – 07/22/09

THE REAL CUJO: Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but now canines are striking fear into many who report attacks by predatory packs. Originally descended from wolves, domesticated dogs were brought to the United States 12,000 years ago and used as aggressive protectors. Today, more and more dogs are being turned loose on the streets and returning to their wild roots. These feral dogs are attacking people. Now, MonsterQuest launches a search to follow these ferals, using state of the art cameras to uncover where they live and how dangerous they are to man.

“MonsterQuest: Terror From the Sky” – 07/29/09

TERROR FROM THE SKY: Across North America there is something strange and frightening circling overhead. Witnesses tell of human-like creatures that float or hover in the skies and often descend to attack. Legends and folklore tell of strange flying creatures, but in the 1940s and 1950s, strange humanoid forms were spotted above small towns, bringing waves of panic. Sceptics claim that misidentification explains these creatures, however the mounting evidence says otherwise. MonsterQuest will analyze the video proof of this monster while scientists work to discover the identity of an eerie corpse that may unlock the mystery of these flying humanoid monsters.

Angry Chimp

“MonsterQuest: Killer Chimps in America” – 08/05/09

KILLER CHIMPS IN AMERICA: Chimpanzees are known to us as amusing circus attractions and are even popular as pets, but when they attack the results are frightening and horrific. Just as disturbing, across the U.S., witness reports suggest that chimpanzees may be on the loose. In the 1920s and 30s, chimps were common in Florida as part of road side carnivals and zoos, but in some cases these animals were let loose or escaped. Today, not only are attacks from pet chimps on the rise, but witnesses in Florida describe encounters with what may be wild chimpanzees. Now, MonsterQuest trackers and primatologists investigate how vicious chimps can actually get, and whether the environment could sustain these primates by searching the swamps and wilderness for a population of wild chimps in America.

Florida Chimp

Florida Chimp

“MonsterQuest: Tigers in the Suburbs” – 08/12/09

TIGERS IN THE SUBURBS: Large cats are prowling parts of America and they may have a taste for flesh. Witnesses in New York State say they are seeing big black cats that may be stalking and killing the deer population. However, from the big cat family, only jaguars and leopards appear black and neither species is native to the eastern United States. Is the mind, as skeptics suggest, simply playing tricks? Or could dangerous escaped exotic cats be on the loose? An all star MonsterQuest team of trackers, scientists and technicians deploys the latest in surveillance equipment in search of proof of whatever monster is out there – before it kills.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

26 Responses to “MQ News: Sky Terrors, Tigers, Killer Chimps and Cujo”

  1. timi_hendrix responds:

    So far Monsterquest season three has proved to be a really great season! I hope this show has much success in seasons to come.


  2. vicki18 responds:

    People should NOT have Chimps as PETS !

    They are cute as BABIES but grow up as EXTREMELY STRONG ADULTS !

  3. Alligator responds:

    Feral dogs are a real problem and extremely dangerous because they are acclimated to humans. They are far more dangerous than wolves ever have been in the wild. In our neck of the woods, people have blamed livestock losses on bobcats, cougars or coyotes. Yet when the evidence was assessed it almost always turns out to be feral dogs (and some not so feral)

    Most Americans base their ideas of chimapnzees on Cheetah in old Tarzan movies, J. Fred Muggs or similar “show” chimps that are anthropomorphic beyond all rational credibility. Jane Goodall was only able to get close and study them after years of hard work. Adult chimps can easily kill a human and they can be pretty aggressive towards anything intruding on their territory.

    I think that chimp up in Connecticut that ripped that woman’s face off just snapped. It was a wild animal being treated as a baby human boy. Pretty hard to overcome a couple of million years of instinct in one generation.

  4. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Interesting selection; although I feel that in both of these, the real monsters are the humans.

  5. JMonkey responds:

    Feral dogs actually attacked me 2 years ago on Lake Ellsworth in Oklahoma near the city of Lawton. I was on the lake Duck hunting and they chased me onto a Peninsula. I held them off for an hour almost with sporadic shotgun blasts. The Lawton PD finally showed up and dispersed the dogs. Tragically several were killed, and I am sure many more died later from injuries. They killed my duck dog, I could not save him when he tried to protect me. Please do not just forget about your pets.

    Aoes on the other hand are extremely dangerous, especially when they are on anti-depressants like the one in Conneticut was. Well I will be glued to this episode.

  6. Ulysses responds:

    It’s all true! I love to hike in some areas of South Florida and once found myself attacked by three average looking dogs. They exhibited pack like skills as while one stood in front of me barking the other two nipped at me from behind and to the side. I luckily escaped with only two bites and bloodied one of the dogs with a knife I carry on me at all times! I called the park ranger and reported the incident only to learn it is average down here and even in the suburbs there are attacks of this type! People need to take responsibility with their animals and make the right decisions about their fate if they are unwanted. We have an even worse epidemic with exotic pets such as snakes and iguanas infesting our oarks and homes!

  7. cryptidsrus responds:

    I read somewhere that once “regressed,” dogs cannot become “domesticated” again. I don’t know if I agree with that but that’s what I read. I’m sure soembody here knows about that.

    I DO find it ironic that they’re talking about Chimps as pets and the dangers/beneifits inherent in them because MJ (of course) had a very famous pet chimp, Bubbles (which most of us know about). I wonder where the fella is right now?

    Last I heard he got too big and ferocious for Neverland and was moved to some sort of wildlife enclosure. I hope he is doing well.

  8. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    Dogs – In the wild, a wolf will not attack a human unless it is either provoked, cornered, or in very bad health. Unless these dogs are rabid, I see no reason to think that they’re simply running around, targeting humans as prey.

    Chimps – In the wild, chimpanzees are known to hunt smaller primates for food, and even kill and eat other chimpanzees. I do not know if there is any record of wild chimpanzees attacking humans under normal conditions.

  9. Munnin responds:

    “Today, not only are attacks from pet chimps on the rise, but witnesses in Florida describe encounters with what may be wild chimpanzees.”

    Hmmmm. “What may be…”

    I wonder if any of these reports could actually have been sightings of the skunk ape?

  10. apithacus responds:

    It would be far worse if this were true for larger apes such as gorillas or orangs. It is tragic regardless of the animal and I hate to say it but it is happening more and more. Loose primates could be the cause of Bigfoot sighting. I cannot wait to see this episode and I hope it is as exciting as the other seasons.

  11. coelacanth1938 responds:

    I’m sorry gang, but I can’t help but think about a fight to the finish between a pack of feral dogs and a tribe of psycho chimps. But with the way things seems to be going, maybe it’s already happened.

  12. mystery_man responds:

    Feral dogs can be an enormous problem simply because they have no innate fear of humans. Wolves are naturally wary, and that is one reason why wolf hybrids make terrible guard dogs. Any wariness that wild animals may show towards us is not present with domestic dogs. It can make feral dogs quite bold. They are not necessarily “targeting” humans as prey, but they are much more willing than many wild animals to engage humans if the need arises or to be more inclined to protect their territory from a perceived human threat. For instance, when taken by surprise, where wolves might run, feral dogs have a greater chance to stand their ground and actively attack.

    Also, many people don’t realize just how well domestic dogs are able to survive like this. Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years and this tends to make people think that they somehow have lost something when it comes to being able to survive on their own. However, the degree and intensity of domestication has been found to not have much effect on an animal’s potential to return to a wild state. These can be tenacious, adaptable animals, and indeed it is one of the reasons canids are typically so successful wherever they are found. With a place to live and food sources, feral dog packs can become a multigenerational, entrenched invasive species. I often see the misconception that feral dogs will somehow “die out” over time without human assistance or incoming pack members, but this is simply not true. Feral dogs can breed, and they can even become adept at hunting if other food sources such as human garbage is not available.

    As for chimps, the common image of these animals is of the ones seen in movies or on commercials dressed up in cute outfits. The thing is, these are juvenile animals which are smaller, more docile, and easier to control. The fact is that adult chimps can be very strong, territorial, dominating, and aggressive, and this is the reason why these movie chimps are retired to zoos or sanctuaries when they grow up. They are simply too unpredictable to be kept and trained safely at this point. Their high intelligence can also make them prone to psychological problems that could make them quite dangerous. Their intelligence can also make them very willful. They can hold grudges and some of them might not take too kindly to what humans want them to do.

    Pet chimps are generally a bad idea. Besides their intelligence, chimps are ever more being shown to be deeply emotional, thoughtful, complicated creatures. If a highly intelligent animal four times as strong as you takes issue with what you are doing or even what they perceive you as doing, who do you think is going to win that argument? Or what if the chimp thinks its protecting its territory when your friend comes over and kills them? How about if the chimp decides it wants to be the boss and is tired of being dressed up in a pink tutu? What if it is just deeply depressed or stressed and snaps like a human being might do under the same circumstances? That’s not something you really want happening with an animal that could rip your arms off.

    Regardless of their genetic similarity to us, chimps are not our little babies and it is a dangerous thing to anthropomorphize them too much. These are not cute little pets either. They need to be treated with the same respect that any extremely powerful, highly intelligent animal deserves.

  13. mystery_man responds:

    Cryptoinformant 2.0- Chimp attacks in the wild under normal circumstances are very rare simply because wild chimps are wary of humans. They don’t know what we are or what we want, and this is the reason why researchers have to spend such a long time habituating wild chimps in order to get close to them. Wild chimps are going to be more inclined to run away from humans than attack.

    However, there are documented cases of chimps in open sanctuaries attacking and killing humans. There was a very famous case in Sierra Leone of chimpanzees escaping their sanctuary and running amok. Unfortunately, there were some deaths involved before the chimps were rounded up.

    Chimp attacks are much more common with captive chimps, simply because like with feral dogs, they have lost their natural fear of humans. Captive chimps have also come to realize just how much more powerful they are than us. On top of that are the reasons I listed in my previous post above, these are highly intelligent animals with a wide range of reasons for why they might want to attack the humans they are in close contact with everyday. I think it also seriously needs to be considered that they just might not be all that happy in their captive environment.

  14. Alligator responds:

    What mystery man said in his two posts! Brent, you said it all and there is nothing I can add. 🙂

  15. kittenz responds:

    cryptidsrus said:

    I read somewhere that once “regressed,” dogs cannot become “domesticated” again. I don’t know if I agree with that but that’s what I read. I’m sure soembody here knows about that.

    You have been misinformed; feral dogs at any stage or age can be rehabilitated. They do not have to “become” domesticated again; they are domesticated. It takes great skill, empathy, and dedication to rehab feral dogs, and although some formerly feral dogs are always shy and wary with humans other than their own family, many former ferals become terrific pets.

    This is the best argument that I know for the separation of wolves, dogs, and dingos into three separate but closely related species. Genetically they are nearly identical; behaviorally (at least, in their behavior as it relates to people), they are worlds apart.

    Dogs’ innate behaviors changed with domestication, and, in their behavior toward people, they are no longer like wolves in many respects. Dingos were wild dogs that had been well on their way to domestication, but became feral and have lived in a wild state for thousands of years. They changed again during those millennia, behaviorally, and now are a species unto themselves. They are no longer domesticated animals nor do they behave like a domestic animal, although they can be taken young and tamed (as can wolves). (I refuse to refer to dingos as wolves, although they probably descend from a wolflike animal).

    mystery_man, you said many of the things that I was thinking as I first read this post, so I’ll just go with “ditto” 🙂 on your comments.

    CrypyoInformant 2.0 said:

    Dogs – In the wild, a wolf will not attack a human unless it is either provoked, cornered, or in very bad health. Unless these dogs are rabid, I see no reason to think that they’re simply running around, targeting humans as prey.

    Feral dogs can and do target people as prey. Not often, because feral dogs are opportunistic predators and people are big, strong animals. But it does happen, not only here but all over the world. Children, and people walking alone, are most at risk from attacks by feral dogs, but most people who hunt will have at least a story or two to tell, of encounters with feral dogs. One feral dog by itself will almost never attack a human. One dog will usually run away or at most will stand off many yards away and just watch and growl. Two dogs might occasionally be moved to attack a person alone, or a child. Two dogs are a little bolder and might run alongside, or approach from two different angles, but usually will only stand and growl unless a person runs.

    But three or more dogs is a pack, and exhibit pack behavior, which includes the taking of prey larger and stronger than themselves. Three or more feral dogs in a group are very, very dangerous to humans during encounters; fortunately, encounters are rare. Feral dogs are smart and cunning, and being opportunistic, they will scavenge from garbage dumps, hunt deer and rabbits, and attack pets and livestock, so they usually do not have a need to attack humans beings unless they feel confronted. But if they do attack, they attack as a group, and once a person or animal is down, it is very difficult to escape an attack from a dog pack without intervention.

    It’s not as though packs of feral dogs are running amok all over the country killing people. Attacks by feral dog packs are rare, and fatalities are uncommon. But the danger is real, in areas where feral dogs exist in numbers, and it pays to always carry something like a cane or a stick when you’re in the woods. Feral dogs are intelligent enough to remember that a person who is carrying a stick can hit them, and they will usually not bother a person they perceive to be carrying a potential club. I know this to be true not just intellectually but from personal experience.

    Dogs have been domesticated for many thousands of years and they have evolved an ability unique among animals; they can read our body language better than we ourselves can. They are bolder than wolves; we made them that way, because we needed allies to protect our homes and livestock from not only wolves and other animals, but also from other people, over the millennia. Dogs are unique among all other domestic animals in their abilities to understand us, and they are among the animals that almost always survive and even thrive in areas where they have established feral packs.

    There are other types of dogs, besides dingos, that have become established in feral populations with recognizable identities, such as the Carolina dog and Canaan dog. Most of these feral types are more or less dingo-like animals; they rarely if ever revert to a wolf-type creature. The more they come to be truly wild animals, the less dangerous they are to people. It’s the recently feral dogs, who are less inhibited toward people, that are most apt to be involved in incidents where humans are attacked.

    In areas where the occasional feral dog joins a wolf pack, they rarely have an opportunity to breed, and those that do breed usually are assimilated into the larger population of wolves; recent evidence suggests that this happened in the American Northwest a few thousand years ago, introducing a black color variant into that population.

  16. kittenz responds:

    Chimps. It is as reprehensible to keep a chimp for a pet as it would be to keep a human for a pet. It should be against the law – period.

    As to chimps living wild in America, I very seriously doubt that. Monkeys – yes, some monkeys are living wild in parts of Florida and Texas. But chimpanzees? I don’t doubt that from time to time a chimp has escaped and has not been recovered. What I doubt is that a chimp could survive for long in the wild here.

    Almost all captive chimps in North America were either born into captivity, or were taken from the wild as infants. Chimps have a very long childh

  17. kittenz responds:

    ood, and they must learn survival skills from adults – either from other adult chimps, or from their human captors. Unlike monkeys, a chimp could probably not find enough food to survive if it suddenly found itself free in an unfamiliar forested area, after having been fed by humans all its life. Monkeys have shorter lifespans and require much less food than chimps, and they rely much more on instinctive behavior than do chimps.

    Another point: chimps require the company of others. They are very social animals and escaped chimps almost always eventually seek human companionship. Even if a chimp escaped its captivity, it would not have the social stimulation that it would need, on its own in the wild.

    As far as troops of chimps living wild here, that is unlikely in the extreme. In parts of Africa, where they are native, chimps can be hard to locate in the lthe jungle. But in Florida, where they are not, they would have to learn how to live off the land, from scratch, and they would certainly be noticed. You can’t just plunk a troop of several 200 lb. animals down in a forest and expect that they will survive.

    So – monkeys living wild in the USA, yes, It’s even documented. Chimps? Except for the occasional escapee that might survive long enough to become a “sighting” before it dies of starvation or exposure, no.

  18. Alligator responds:

    Your insight and knowledge of animals has always impressed me. Are you by chance a vet or otherwise professionally involved with wildlife and animals? Even if you are a lay person, that is okay. Lay people are extremely valuable and helpful in gathering and disseminating data on wildlife. I was just curious. I’d agree, it should be illegal to keep chimps as pets, period.

    Several years ago, we had a pet spider monkey get loose in our neck of the woods. It was out for a few days and showed up a half mile away. It literally strolled into someone’s yard and bit a six year old girl who was playing and minding her own business. At first she was excited and delighted to see a monkey walking up to her. The monkey was captured right after that but it cost the owner a lot legal fees and medical bills. I think the day is approaching (too late in many cases) when exotic animals will be regulated more severely and certain ones will be banned outright.

  19. cryptidsrus responds:

    Thanks for the clarification, Kittenz!!!

    I was simply reporting what I read.

    That is the reason I asked—I didn’t think it was “right.”

  20. mikfoss responds:

    Yeah, I looked it up cause I knew I had read something recently on this and it turns out it was in People 4-27-2009 there was an article about a dog who was lost at sea, was wild on an island for over four months, and then went back home and fell back into domestication almost instantly.

  21. fossilhunter responds:

    Greetings Cryptidsrus & All!
    Cheetah, the chimp from the Tarzan movies, is currently living in Palm Springs, California at a chimp sanctuary. For more info see the Fresh Air story on NPR from Monday, July 13. They also talked about grey whales becoming social with people in boats in Baja California.
    Feral dogs are common near East St. Louis, Illinois (near me) and packs are seen making their way across interstates there. A mix of abandoned property and “wild” areas are a perfect mix for them. They can rob the dumpsters at restaurants, then fade into the woods and wetlands. I’ve seen a female with pups picking their way along a highway, trying to cross, with concerned folks stopped nearby, hopefully calling the Humane Society. There are a mix of breeds, along with the “urban hybrid” style that tends to develop among such populations. I don’t remember the precise traits, other than a tail curled up over the back. Similar to a Pariah Dog or Dingo.

    🙂 Come on folks!! Get those pets “fixed” and rescue a dog (or cat) if you want another pet!!! 🙂

  22. lincoln s responds:

    As to chimps living in america I don’t see what’s stopping them. I remember a picture of skunkape being compared to a chimp and they were strikingly similar. so the discovery of chimps here wouldn’t really suprising.

  23. DWA responds:

    Can’t comment on flying humanoid forms. Yet. 😉

    But as to

    1. Chimps. We encountered a band of wild rhesus monkeys while paddling the Silver River in FL some time back. Don’t know what has become of that troop (apparently “founded” by escapees from the nearby animal/amusement park). But the glimpse we got told us that they were doing fine. And, of course, several species of primate other than us live where it regularly snows in winter. Lions and leopards (except, of course, for the Amur leopard) seem to be kept out of more temperate environments more by human will than by their ability to live there. The big cats at the National Zoo in DC love cold weather and often lounge about outside in it. And the tigers are Sumatran; not much snow there. I wouldn’t make any bets about chimps’ ability to survive in reasonably warm temperate zone environments.

    2. Dogs. I had two hunting dogs – maybe lost; that happens a lot – accost me in the Crawford Mtn. area of the George Washington NF in VA last year. I was backpacking, and had trekking poles. My buddy and I were separated by some distance at the time. The poles might have been what kept them away. I don’t want to think about what would have happened had there been more of them.

  24. MattBille responds:

    I have a hard time taking “Terror From The Skies” very seriously. In the handful of cases reporting something along these lines, there is no report (including the Mothman events) that discusses wings adequate to make a human-sized creature fly.
    Birds standing as tall as a short human can fly with a wingspan of six feet or so, but we are talking about long-legged cranes, storks, etc. where the build is nothing like a human’s: a sandhill crane’s wings lift, at most, 15 pounds into the air. Argentavis magnificens needed a span of 23 feet or so to get 150 lbs into the air, and some paleontologists think it needed downslopes or headwinds to get airborne at all. It was a great glider but not a strong flier. (BBC, 7/2/07). A bat with a six-foot span stands less than 2 feet tall. I don’t reject Sanderson’s claim of a bat with a span of ten or twelve feet, but it wouldn’t approach the standing height of a human. Startled witnesses would be expected to exaggerate the wingspan of something weird, not diminish it. Even Nature’s weirdest creatures (and some are very weird indeed) can’t ignore physics.

  25. kittenz responds:


    I agree. I, also, think that a bat with a 12 ft wingspan is possible, but I doubt that its body could be more than toddler-sized.

  26. CryptoInformant 2.0 responds:

    Kittens, Mystery-Man, thank you for clearing up a few errors in what I said – I had not quite factored in domestication as a behavioral factor here. It’s interesting to know that animals that have been domesticated become more dangerous because of that when they are reintroduced into a wild setting.

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