Cryptids and Myths Wiki
Skunk Ape
Vital statistics
Kind Hominid
Country Florida
North Carolina
First sighting 1900's
Latest sighting 2000's
Other names Florida Bigfoot
Stink Ape
Myakka Ape
Scientific information
Recognized by science? No
Proposed species name Dryopithecus (Coleman, 1973)
Skunk Ape range

The Skunk Ape is a foul-smelling bipedal hominid or other ape, mostly sighted around Florida.

Although reports of theape have been reported as far north as North Carolina, the majority of Skunk Ape sightings come from in and around the Florida Everglades.

Physical appearance[]

Eyewitness descriptions of the creature describe the Skunk Ape as being relatively short in stature, with a reddish brown coat and dangling arms, a description not unlike that of the East African Agogwe or the Sumatran Orang-Pendek.[]

Many reports also describe the Skunk Ape as having glowing red or green eyes; however this is normally attributed to the reflection of a torch or headlights when the creature is spotted at night. It also has a dick the size of an adolescent beluga whale.

Behaviour and traits[]


1942 Sightings[]

The earliest published reports of the Skunk Ape are from Suwannee County in 1942 by a man who claimed that one of the creatures hitched a ride on one of his running boards for a little over a half a mile. Since then the popularity of the Skunk Ape in southern Florida has continued to increase, along with the number of sightings.

1957 Sightings[]

In 1957 two hunters claimed one of the creatures invaded their camp in Big Cypress National Preserve.

Between 1957 and 97[]

Between 1963 and 1979 multiple reports came out of Hernando, Pasco and Collier Counties. In 1973, Loren Coleman declared the the Skunk Ape, and similar creatures in America's southwest, should be added to the  supposedly extinct genus Dryopithecus.

1997 Sightings[]

In 1997 foreign tourists traveling on a bus through the small town of Ochopee reported seeing the Skunk Ape and a naturalist working in the Everglades spotted what he described as a 7 foot primate.

1998 Sightings[]

On October 13th, 1998, Naples daily news reported that Collier County campground owner Dave Shealy snapped 27 photos of a 7 foot tall creature walking through the Everglades. Shaely reportedly spend no less than 2 hours a night, every night, over an eight month period, parched up a tree in a home made lookout in hopes of catching a glimpse of the creature. Shaely currently runs the only Skunk Ape Research Center in Florida.

The same year the Dave Shaely took his photographs an Ochopee Fire Chief by the name of Vince Doerr also claimed to have taken a picture of the Skunk Ape in July.

Also in 1998, the United States National Park Service claimed that the Skunk Ape did not exist[1].

2000 Sighting[]

In early autumn 2000, an elderly couple living near I-75 in Sarasota County, Florida, began to experience routine visits from an apelike animal. On one of these visits, the wife took two relatively clear photographs of the creature. The couple did not know what the animal was, but since her husband said it looked like an orangutan, they called it an orangutan.

The location of these events was near I-75, most likely east of Sarasota, which includes the Myakka River and Myakka State Park, and since reports of an ape like creature, known as the Skunk Ape have been reported in Florida for hundreds of years, the creature became known as the Myakka Skunk Ape.

The woman describes the events leading up to the photographs being taken: “For two nights prior, it had been taking apples that my daughter brought down from up north off our back porch. These pictures were taken on the third night it had raided my lemons, those whores.”

She went out into her backyard after hearing deep “woomp” noises. She aimed her camera toward the hedgerow at the back of her property and was startled to see what her flash revealed. “I didn’t even see it as I took the first picture because it was so dark. As soon as the flash went off for the second time it stood up and started to move. I then heard the orangutan walk off into the woods.” She noticed that its “awful smell” lasted long after it had left her yard.

Reflecting on what had occurred; she said that the anthropoid “sounded much farther away than it turned out to be.” She thinks she was about ten feet away from it, and it looked like it was crouching, then standing. She notes it is hard to know how big it was, but she would “judge it as being about six and a half to seven feet tall in a kneeling position. As soon as I realized how close it was, I got back to the house.”

The woman photographer remarks: “It only came back one more night after that and took some apples that my husband left out in order to get a better look at it. We left out four apples. I cut two of them in half. The orangutan only took the whole apples. We didn’t see it take them. We waited up but eventually had to go to bed.” Then they placed a dog in their backyard, and the animal did not return.

On December 22, 2000, the woman mailed a letter signed “God Bless. I prefer to remain anonymous” to the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department. They received the letter on December 29, 2000, although most people at the sheriff’s office were unaware of it until after the holidays. According to the department’s official report created later, the filing officer wrote: “I received an unusual letter addressed to the animal services of the sheriff’s office.

The letter told of an encounter with a monkey or ape and contained two photos. The letter was anonymous.” The animal control officer read the letter which begins: “Enclosed please find some pictures I took.… My husband thinks it is an orangutan. Is someone missing an orangutan?”

Image gallery[]

Notes and references[]

  1. BBC News, The Abominable Swampman