New Cryptid Ape Reports in Florida

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 13th, 2007

Myakka Ape

The Myakka Whatever.

Near the northern border of Florida, one county over from the east coast of the state, is the small community of Glen St. Mary. It is a town in Baker County, Florida, with a population of 473 in the 2000 census, and 489, as of 2004. The people in Glen St. Mary live in 181 households in 131 families. Ninety-eight percent of the people in town identify themselves as Caucasian Americans.

The little town of Glen St. Mary is in the middle of a bit of uproar. A cryptid is the talk of the town. A mystery ape seems to be about.

Needless to say, 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

Click on the comparison between images above ~ Myakka cryptid on the left, an orangutan on the right ~ for a larger view.

Also, 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.

Florida Chimp

Florida Chimp

But the mystery of cryptid apes in Florida continues. The following complete article is from the First Coast News for November 13, 2007:

Folks who live there say nothing much happens in Glen St. Mary. But some excitement came to the little North Florida town — in the form of an escaped ape. Or did it?

Downtown Glen St. Mary has all you’d expect from a small North Florida town: one traffic signal, one gas station and one big mystery.

Screeches in the night. A creature in the trees.

Stories of sightings echo on every corner. The local newspaper even ran a story about it. Eric Lawson’s heard the tales.

“There is kinda that ‘I’ve seen a Bigfoot’ type of feel to it,” he said. “They said it made a nest in that tree, so it’s probably somewhere here in the area.”

What’s got Glen St. Mary howling? It’s a monkey.

Well, actually — an ape. Specifically, an orangutan.

A handful of folks say they’ve heard the call of an escaped ape.

One family even found the grand prize: what looked to be an orange ape, nesting high in a tree.

We talked on the phone with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission investigator who actually answered the original complaint call.

He said there was definitely something up in the top of the tree, but he really couldn’t be sure what it was.

So, he took a pack of jelly donuts and left it right at the bottom of the tree, hoping to lure the creature to the ground.

He hasn’t heard anything since.

Well, orangutans really love fruit. So, hungry for answers, we went to “Ed” — a neighbor who hears all the gossip from his produce stand.

But Ed had boarded up his stand and beat it out of town. Why did he decide to split? It’s not clear, but the sign he left behind prominently features a bunch of bananas as one of his top-selling products.

Ed took off, and so did the mystery creature.

“The next morning, the people came out and it was — it was gone,” Lawson remembered from the story he’d heard from his father.

If it is an ape, where did it come from? The state says no one in Baker County is even licensed to own an orangutan. It seems like that’s part of the mystery.

In the end, the evidence of any, umm, monkey business — is still up in the air.“Great Ape Mystery is Talk of First Coast Town,” November 13, 2007, First Coast News, Florida.

Thanks to Chad Arment for sharing this article.

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.

16 Responses to “New Cryptid Ape Reports in Florida”

  1. bill green responds:

    this a very informative new article about the florida cryptid ape or sasquatch. i realy the above photo as well. thanks bill green 🙂

  2. shumway10973 responds:

    All talk and reports about the skunk ape makes it stand upright and able to balance good enough to move large boulders into roads. That picture does resemble something like a chimp or orangutan. Then again, who’s to say that something like that doesn’t live there? The skunk ape may have smaller cousins living with it.

  3. squatch-toba responds:

    Doughnuts???….(groan…) It would be so nice if somebody would maybe even attempt a serious search for these things. Oh, and by the way, if you have it in a tree…DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!…yikes.

  4. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Mmmm… curioser and curioser.

  5. Cryptid Hunt responds:

    Both photos cleary match! CREEPY!!!

  6. mauka responds:

    But if the photo is a match for a orang how does the chimp play in?

  7. baronvondoren responds:

    As a resident of the area where the “chimp” was seen, I have to note that all three locations (Myakka, Gulf Breeze and Glen St. Mary) are pretty far apart geographically and have very different environments. People tend to lump all the primate cryptids together, but the reports up here in NW Florida are very different than the ones from the central and southern parts of the state. Florida is a BIG place! As for the “chimp,” everything I could gather from the bit of investigation I did myself, most people felt that it was in fact an escaped animal or a hoax and was not significant to Cryptozoology. The Panhandle of Florida is rich in Skunk Ape sightings, but they are very much like the creatures sighted in Alabama…

  8. karen.sherman responds:

    Exactly my first thought, squatch-toba. Jelly doughnuts??! That’s like trying to lure a cat of a tree with jalapenos.

  9. thehoch responds:

    I’ve been reading the articles on cryptomundo for a few years now and I love the site and the articles are fun to read….BUT!

    Enough of these pictures of these supposed crypto-creatures that are taken from 300 yards away with a blurry resolution.

    If cryptozoology ever wants to get respect, it’s going to finally have to come up with definitive pictures or videos. These type of Skunk Ape pics, while entertaining, really get old.

    Keep up the good work though Mr.Coleman. This is my first post and I plan on posting for now on after hiding in the forest like a bigfoot.

  10. cryptidsrus responds:

    Sounds like a hoax, although I tend to agree that most of these sightings cannot be chalked up to escaped creatures or hoaxes. Although the Myakka Whatever COULD be an escaped orangutan. Scott Marlowe is probably right on that one.

    Overall, I think us supposedly “advanced” humans are not as knowledgeable of what is out there in the piney woods as we think we do. As Keel once pointed out, we know more about the surface of the moon than we do abour own oceans. Same goes for THE GREAT OUTDOORS.

  11. treeclaw responds:

    Yawn, hoax or an escaped pet.

  12. Alligator responds:

    About 15 years ago, a small child in our rural county was playing in her yard when in her words, “a little hairy man” came out of the woods walked up to her and bit her. She had to be given tetanus and rabies shots. Investigation by the sheriff and wildlife officials led to the discovery that a large rhesus monkey had escaped from it’s owner who lived a couple of miles away.

    Eventually, the monkey was recaptured, its owner sued and cited for holding the animal without the proper permits. I suspect that people holding exotic animals illegally is a lot more widespread than the average person might think. Florida especially has been a hotbed for exotic pets.

    Thehoch made a very good point about some of these photos are going to have to be much better than “300 yard away grainy shots” of indeterminate animals before they be considered convincing. I too appreciate that Loren Coleman takes a “conservative” approach when reviewing some of this evidence. Certain other sites make too many pronouncements then end up eating a little crow, which in the long run only impedes serious investigation of cryptids.

  13. lucidknight responds:

    This is a very interesting picture the problem is that apes, infact all higher primates lack a tapetum lucidum (the membrane that refects light in the eyes.) I would expect it to be a red reflection because of the blood vessels not yellow.

  14. dbmers responds:

    I’m not saying what it is or isn’t, but you have to remember that Fla is the land of exotic animals that have escaped or been released by their owners.

  15. DrRob1967 responds:

    You know I’m all for saying that’s a chimp in the video, but that still pic looks way too staged and way too much like a “Harry and the Hendersons” sasquatch costume.

  16. mystery_man responds:

    I have a bit of a soft spot for the Myakka ape photos and still think they are some of the best photos of a supposed cryptid. The video clip image COULD be a chimp. It COULD be a skunk ape, it COULD be a lot of things. I can’t make it out well enough to really even begin to proclaim it as one thing over another. I could tell more if I could see it move, or see multiple frames of it in different positions.

    Concerning the Glen St. Mary account, I find it interesting that the article mentions that no one is licensed to have an orangutan in Baker County. But isn’t the whole thing with the black market, illegal trade in animals that these people don’t HAVE licenses to keep them? No one having a legal license to have an orangutan to me is not evidence that no one ever kept one there nor is it evidence that the “creature” couldn’t have been an escaped pet. Lack of any licenses to own one doesn’t make me want to skip to another unknown conclusion. A large reddish ape sitting up in a tree sounds exactly like an orangutan to me. The color is right and orangutans are mostly arboreal. Don’t know about their appetite for jelly donuts, though. 🙂

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