IN SEARCH OF THE SKUNK APE
|by Jessica Greene 1997
Local legend says the muddy land is home for a mysterious creature. For hundreds of years, something has hovered at the edges, haunting the shadows, chilling the territory. Could it be a Glades gorilla? Is it a swamp Sasquatch? Many people in the Everglades know what it is; they call it the Skunk Ape, named so for its hair covered body and pungent odor of rotten eggs and moldy cheese. Their accounts tell the story of Florida's own Bigfoot. Bo Johnson struts barefoot through each day. He fearlessly runs airboat tours, telling tales to those who will lend an interested ear. Bo says he's seen many things, especially one that just doesn't make sense. Dave Shealy runs a local tour business and gift shop. He's a sort of every man in overalls, unorthodox and uneducated.
Dave reports strange
sightings in the area, but admits he's never seen anything that resembles a skunk ape.
Chief Doerr saw something
he will never forget, and took a picture to prove the 'you'll never believe
what I saw' story. The chief wasn't sure what he saw but says he knew
it wasn't a bear; it was upright for too long. The photo he took that
July night has become the latest exhibit in the Skunk Ape saga. You can
barely see it through the trees, but in the distance, there stands a brown
lump. At about the same time Chief Doerr snapped the now famous shot,
tourists and locals swore they spotted something mysterious in the swamp.
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