Forgotten Florida Cryptid?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 31st, 2012

Myakka Ape

The Myakka Whatever.

Florida is the land of accounts of the Skunk Ape, the Myakka unknown, and boogers. There are over a hundred years of reports of this kind coming from this part of America’s subtropical South.

Myakka Ape

Check out the comparison between images above ~ Myakka cryptid on the left, an orangutan on the right.

In November 2006, news video was taken of an “escaped chimp” and I posted on this report here, “Chimp Sighting = Skunk Ape?”.

The following are video captures from that 2006 Florida tape. This “chimp” was never caught. Who is to say it wasn’t a Skunk Ape? It seems to be a report that is all but forgotten. Have any of the great apes ever been caught in Florida?

Florida Chimp

Florida Chimp

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.

12 Responses to “Forgotten Florida Cryptid?”

  1. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    I am the friend of the Myakka Homo-Pongid. She is the TRUE Missing Link.

    I know folks that have tramped up and down and in and out of the Florida Swamps huntin’ some trace of her. SOME of them even came back. Those that we didn’t lose to ‘gators and Florida Cottonmouths.

    And quicksand.

    And the ones that made it back all said the same things:

    1. “Swamps suck.”

    2. “I don’t believe there’s any Myakka whatever critter out here!”

    3. “Did I mention that swamps suck?”


    But I figure they just discouraged too easily. I mean…

    I mean…

    Loren? Y’all ever BEEN in a swamp by night?

    When the noises start and you ain’t quite sure just what it is MAKING them noises?

    So you flash your light around and all you see are EYES staring back at you.

    Might be anything….might be a bobcat

    Or a Florida Panther

    Or Myakka…

    There is mystery in the swamps by night and anyone who claims they are certain sure no such critter can exist doesn’t know the swamp by night.

    It’s enough to make an atheist believe in God, that you can rely on!

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, of course, I have.

  3. Redrock responds:

    I am a Florida native and grew up about 20 minutes from where the Myakka pictures where taken, I even did a paper on deforestation and skunk ape population for a high school biology final. I have been very interested in skunk ape since I was young and heard stories from my uncles about there own sightings. I have read everything I can find on the subject and in this studying have found some interesting stories of apes (Chimps, baboons etc.). I read that some of the “Tarzan” movies were filmed in Silver Springs in the ’30s and during these films a few of the hairier stars escaped into the Ocala forest, perhaps this could explain some of the Chimp sightings. Of course this still doesn’t explain the 6-8 foot bipedal skunk ape sightings farther south.

  4. DWA responds:

    I don’t think they’re “forgotten” any more than cryptids anywhere else.

    Florida reports come in frequently to the BFRO. Some folks seem to be seeing sasquatch; some skunk apes; some….well, you tell me. But the reports don’t sound like Bobo Fay is making them up. And boy if he is, we might want to stop underrating the guy. He’s talented.

    What they are is underappreciated by a scientific community that might want to reacquaint itself with how much fun science can be.

  5. DWA responds:



    Tell us about that paper! How did it do? How did you do? Did they let you graduate? Is the report locked up in a top secret file somewhere?

    You know, typical crypto questions.

  6. Redrock responds:

    Well the skunk ape angle was more of a hook, something to separate my presentation on deforestation from every other. It was when the Myakka photos had just come out, I wanted people to be aware. I did pass actually! The entire presentation was put out in the hall for everyone to see as well.. That didn’t help me socially, but anything to further the cause of Cryptozoology is worth it. lol

  7. WVBotanist responds:


    You may have records of conversing with me on this particular subject. I was much younger then, and really skittish about the subject relative to my employment at the time, but we spoke (via email I think) about the overwintering Ringlings near Englewood, not far from there. There are also a number of other circus or similar travelers overwintering regularly in the area.

    Not only do escaped exotics rarely get officially reported there, the subsequent recaptures are almost never mentioned – particularly if the escape was not reported. This area, particularly from the tidal portions of the Myakka upstream and along tributaries, is a world of surprises for biologists, from boas and pythons to occasional crocodiles and monitor lizards, to scattered monkeys at times, and large cats – if there were ever a case where an escaped, known primate could be the creature behind the siting, this would be it.

    That is not to say that there ARENT unknowns out there. 🙂

    Thanks for maintaining my anonymity then as now – it would probably not be terribly relevant now, but I appreciate it all the same

  8. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    Redrock: Johnny Weismuller (like Larry “Buster Crabbe” who also played Tarzan) was a champion Olympic swimmer (he won five gold medals and one bronze medal during his Olympic career). ALL of his swimming scenes were filmed in Silver Springs most of the rest was shot on sound stages.

  9. Redrose999 responds:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the skunk ape turned out to be escaped chimps, who have adapted over the years to live in the swamps of Florida.

  10. thegsmiths4 responds:

    Sorry, Redrose but from personal experience, there are skunk apes or southern bigfoot (whatever you want to call them).

    That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been cases of mistaken identity. Its a fact that there is a population of wild monkeys in the Silver Springs area of Ocala. We don’t have a population of wild chimps, but I’m sure there are probably several that have escaped and never been caught.

    Still, there is no way you can mistake a 3-5 ft tall monkey for a 6-7 ft tall bigfoot when they walk across the road in front of your car.

  11. PANape responds:

    I am a Pennsylvania native. I know there are Eastern Bigfoots living in Pennsylvania, but the Waynesboro tracks sparked a possibility of Napes in the Keystone State. I consider you to be the world’s leading Nape expert, given you created the name. You say the Skunk Ape and Nape are synonymous, but most reports of Skunk Apes are of large bipedal gorillas, very similar to the Classic Bigfoot, whereas the Nape is very similar to a Chimpanzee. I would like to know more about the Nape from the original source (you), and there is very limited information on the web. Thanks:)

  12. Opalman responds:

    Having kayaked ( I can’t say any activity other than kayak-LOL) in areas most people have never seen I can attest to the abundance of Sarasota and Charlotte county wildlife, but even though specifically looking for such, I have not seen many exotics. The tally is pretty sparse: (1) 40” Red Tailed boa (Boa constrictor constrictor, and a troop of approx (5-6) Central American squirrel monkeys (Saimiri oerstedii), that’s it; wait…oh yah: a bazillion iguanas that shouldn’t be here. [interestingly none of the oft reported by Animal Planet, man eating Burmese or African Rock python that are reportedly hiding behind every bush waiting to grab the nature hiker.] I seriously doubt the American croc (Crocodylus acutus) has made it that far north yet though he’s definitely moving northward; we have no local hot water discharge from power plants as they do to the south (Turkey Point etc) so he may never make it to the Myakka barring a long string of very warm winters. In these areas beware of the night active and sometimes large and always irascible wild hogs (feral hogs); they area dangerous and like bears totally unpredictable.
    I’m not insinuating that I’ve made any kind of concise catalog, I haven’t at all. A few hundred hours overnight kayaking is no scientific study; but that’s what I’ve observed so far.
    @Cass_of_MPLS Swamps don’t suck, their damn mosquitoes do though—but yes unless you’re psyched up swamps are a bit intimidating. Better to not keep shining that flashlight around; (seriously, we once saw large, orangeish eyes across the creek that had to be 12-14” apart, without any exaggeration.) We proved this the next day by comparison measurement. Plenty of moist clay where he stood but no spoor whatsoever so it must have been low in a tree. Seriously (again) I have found that if there’s one counterproductive piece of equipment always included in field work its the damn headlight or flashlights. In upcoming fieldwork I’m laying down the latest of my many “laws” Bring em but don’t get caught using them. Serious emergency use only!

    In commenting on the top photo submitted to the Sarasota PD (I believe) by the nice lady living almost within a stones throw of the 4-6 lane route 75N: why all the controversy still…I just don’t get it folks. Orangutan…case closed?

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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