The Ucumar (?)
- March 2, 2003
"EXPEDITION SETS OUT TO FIND UNKNOWN CREATURE" -- Metán,
Argentina -- Police, backwoodsmen and firemen seek out strange animal,
Rosario de la Frontera Footprints found and strange howls heard. . .
Reinforced by personnel
from Metán, the research team is trying to "lock down"
a wooded area.
A team composed of over 20 policemen from Rosario de la
Frontera and Metán, some 15 mounted backwoodsmen, 12 members of
the Ciudad Termal Volunteer Fire Brigade and journalists from the local
TV station, "El Tribuno" and regional broadcasters, is covering
every square foot of a densely wooded area where eyewitnesses claim having
seen--less than 72 hours ago--the strange humanoid creature that has startled
residents of the province's southern reaches.
as the citizenry has incorrectly christened it, would be a 2-meter tall
biped with a hairy body, large claws and ears, and fierce carnivorous
The true "Ucumar" also known as the "spectacled
bear", is the only South American plantigrade, but it is herbivorous,
easily frightened, and a resident of the tropical rainforests, measuring
no more than 1.20 meters.
There is no evidence that it exists in the country,
although there are specimens in captivity in Bolivia and Ecuador. The
operation combing the woods for this strange beast is under the command
of Sheriff René Tacacho and Jose Exequiel Alvarez, commander of
the Volunteer Fire Brigade and of the "Juan Carlos Rivas" archaeological
and paleontological research group.
The expedition aimed at capturing
the strange specimen began on Friday at 21:00 without police support,
which was incorporated yesterday in the likelihood that the hominid may
in fact be prowling the area.
The fact is that the participants in the
search, unarmed, heard strange howls and found prints that evidenced the
recent transit of a heavy, two-legged animal at around one o'clock in
the morning. Miguel Moreno, a camera-man for a Rosario television station,
said: "at one point we heard the crackling of leaves and saw a silhouette
which vanished quickly into the dense vegetation. Local dogs--a pack of
over 30--began barking furiously.
One of the hounds," he added, "went
after "the thing" and we hard it growl in the darkness, but
then there was silence and [the dog] was never seen again."
area is located in the vicinity of the municipal garbage dump, three kilometers
away from the center of the city; where there are trees, overgrown pastures
and all manner of shrubbery.
"We were unarmed and did not dare go
deeper into the area for fear of an eventual misfortune resulting from
an attack," said Jose Exequiel Alvarez, who requested police support
in order to continue.
His request was granted yesterday when twenty elements
from Rosario de la Frontera, reinforced by personnel from Regional Unit
3, headquartered in Metán, joined the search. "Pepo",
one of the firefighters who participated in the first expedition, said:
"I'm sure of having seen something resembling a large monkey, although
the image was fleeting, since it vanished quickly into the dense brush."
At the close of this edition, members of the search team were getting
ready to quit without having found the key to the door to this mystery,
which has kept Rosario residents on tenterhooks after recurring accounts
of encounters and sightings of the odd hairy hominid.
Article Courtesy Alejandro, J., Cordoba, Ar.
© Diario "El Tribuno" Salta, Argentina,
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