wildlife biologist has been on the trail of the legendary -- many would
argue mythical -- ape-like creature ever since he found a pair of 38-centimeter
long footprints in a Vancouver Island park.
That's larger than some of the biggest feet in the National Basketball Association. Bindernagel, 57, is convinced the Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, is real and he's on a mission to turn the mystery surrounding the animal's existence into a science project.
When people tell Bindernagel about the big hairy beast they saw in the woods, he doesn't brush them off, he pulls out his notebook. "I have no reason not to accept the reports," he said. "My language is the evidence is sufficient." Bindernagel, who studied at the University of Guelph and has a Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin, said the Sasquatch deserves serious scientific study.
biologists should be taking this seriously," Bindernagel told about
200 people who recently attended a Sasquatch meeting at the University
of Victoria just days after reports a sighting of the beast was a fake.
"There is another option to a bear on its hind legs.
North America's Great Ape: The Sasquatch documents Bindernagel's fieldwork, including his discovery in 1988 of tracks in Strathcona Provincial Park. The book contains drawings by people who believe they've seen the animal. The mostly crude-looking drawings all depict a similar creature. It's about seven feet tall, stands on two feet, has long arms, broad shoulders, a flat face, short neck and it's hairy. Bindernagel said the drawings portray the elusive Sasquatch. They are not bears. Bears, when standing erect, have slim shoulders, shorter arms and a pointed snout.
"This is not
a bear," he said. "The fingers are the size of bananas or Oktoberfest
sausages. One B.C. prospector said the hands were as large as canoe paddles." Bindernagel said he has documented 380 cases of Sasquatch encounters in
British Columbia and has heard about similar animals in Manitoba and Florida,
where people report seeing a skunk ape. He said there are enough photographs
and plaster casts of Sasquatch footprints to begin including the beast
in legitimate animal tracking manuals.
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