Hillsborough’s Cryptid: Dog, Baboon?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 19th, 2009

It appears more certain that the animal being reported running around the Tampa, Florida area is a known species, indeed, a rather obvious one, based on these nearby Hillsborough sightings. In a new Tampa Tribune dispatch, the following news item gets to the bottom of the speculation as to what could be behind the sightings (all puns intended).

The earlier Peter Masa/Tampa Tribune photo.

Eric Gonzalez and his wife, Tiffany, were driving on Linebaugh Avenue on Wednesday [November 18, 2009] afternoon when an animal darted in front of their 2007 Dodge Caravan.

“Look out for that dog,” Eric said his wife told him.

“But when it crossed in front of us, it was running at an alarming speed,” Gonzalez said. “As soon as it stood up on its back legs, I knew it wasn’t a dog.”

It was, he said, a baboon.

“It had a bald butt, the body was beige, the butt was pinkish,” Gonzalez said.

After the shock wore off, the couple called authorities.

It was the second call about the baboon deputies had received, according to Hillsborough sheriff’s office spokesman Larry McKinnon.

Gonzalez said he called in the baboon sighting because of concern for the neighborhood.

“We live in the area,” Gonzalez said. “My main concern was that this is a wild animal. We have a lot of kids in the area. There is a school right there and we do not want the kids to be curious and approach it. The animal, being wild, might turn around and attack one of the kids.”
McKinnon said the animal probably escaped from captivity.

“We suspect it was a large monkey or baboon that escaped from a house in the area,” McKinnon said. “We have had reports of this for a week.”

So far, deputies have not been able to find the animal, which was last seen shortly before 2 p.m. running behind a Hindu temple on Lynn Road.

It is possible this may be the same simian seen in Tampa last week, McKinnon said.

Last week, a resident reported seeing a monkey in East Tampa, hunkered down in a tree on Elm Street just south of Sligh Avenue, west of the Hillsborough River.

The article “Deputies get calls about baboon sightings,” by Howard Altman, November 19, 2009, carries a headline that identifies what the authorities believe is being seen.

File photo of a baboon, primates that are found in the Old World, not the New World.

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.

8 Responses to “Hillsborough’s Cryptid: Dog, Baboon?”

  1. tampasteve responds:

    I read about this in the paper this morning. I live just north of Tampa and work about 2 miles from the temple mentioned in the article. I would not be surprised if it were an escapee, people in the area have monkeys and other exotics. Aside from that it could easily be a dog that escaped (there is a kennel about 300 feet from the temple) from wherever it was being kept. It could be a lot of things, but my guess is dog or escapee.


  2. Artist responds:

    Poor animal is gonna be the butt of a lot of jokes.

  3. shumway10973 responds:

    If it’s a baboon the picture at top isn’t of “it”. The picture up top is something with more orange fur. A baboon, of any type of baboon, has beige fur. Then if these are the same animals I would say not a small animal, baboons are at least the size of a medium dog. The picture up top I still say looks like a cat. I think we are talking of 2 different things here.

  4. norman-uk responds:

    Could be two different animals, a macaque of which Florida has thousands or a sighting of a seperate animal a baboon seen in the road. The colour seems to more like the macaque than a baboon.

    There is another less likely possibility a patas monkey which is well coloured and there is a history of escapes in this area. There may now be reasons for an owner not to admit ownership.

    Has the possibilty of the large squirrel found in Florida been considered.

  5. cryptidsrus responds:

    If it’s a squirrel, it’s a MIGHTY BIG one!!! Holy You-know-what!!!
    I happen to agree with Shumway10973. I’m not saying the gentleman did not see a baboon, but if he did, the animal in the photgraph is not THAT ONE. Wrong color. Who knows??? 🙁

  6. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    Baby skunkape or unkown variety of skunkape

  7. tampasteve responds:

    While there may be many escaped macaques in Florida they are not known in this area at all. The main group is in Silver Springs area of Florida, about 100 miles from this site. Also, the escaped Patas monkeys from last year were also not anywhere near this area of Tampa. The Patas monkeys were about 50 miles away, and all have been captured.

    I would not rule out macaque but it is not part of a known population. This is in a very urban area of town that is not at all close to a known population and it would not be easy for one to get here. There are also not any large areas of forest nearby to support a population of these animals for any long term. Of course they could subsist on refuse, but not without being seen until now.

    If indeed it turns out to be a monkey of some sort it will likely be a new escaped pet rather than from a semi-wild population.


  8. norman-uk responds:


    ”If it’s a squirrel, it’s a MIGHTY BIG one!!! Holy You-know-what!!!”

    Well this is America! Biggest squirrel in the world, the fox squirrel. 2ft long and weighing 2 lbs, Got a bit of an orangish tinge. How big does it need to be anyway.

    Still could be a stray macaque or tapas wandered here or hitched a ride.

    NB You had me looking up clarifactory and clarifaction is in the dictionary so I cannot complain!

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