Skunk Ape
The Skunk Ape
Pop-culture kitsch typically associated with the Skunk Ape
Type Threat Level
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Active Status Other Names
blank.png Subspecies of Bigfoot


The Skunk Ape is a hominid Cryptid. The name is self-explanatory. The smell's been compared to dog breath mixed with rotten clams. Common knowledge is that the Bigfoot family is the most well-known cryptid in North America and the Skunk Ape is one lesser-known subspecies.

They are typically described as being of similar physical build to others in the Bigfoot family. The main differences are the Skunk Ape's shorter and more stout build, longer, darker fur, and extremely reflective eyes.

When a person is close enough to smell it, they might also feel intense warmth and humid dampness hanging in the air around them. That could be chemicals, or something supernatural changing the air. It could very well be people experiencing normal Floridian weather.

Contact with their fur leaves a burning sensation. If expecting to meet a Skunk Ape in the wild, dress accordingly in long sleeves and eye protection.

Their social behavior is the most under-researched of any in the Bigfoot family. What they leave behind gives more than enough evidence for theories. Tracks left behind show that they almost always travel in groups, and their tracks are infamous for meandering, back-tracking and dead ends. They're very nearly exclusive nocturnal creatures, and their dark fur makes photographing them at night difficult.

While their diet isn't known, they've been known to reduce lost house pets to bones in minute. Presumably it also contains indigenous plants and animals present in the Everglades.


The Skunk Ape has existed in Florida for as long as humans have recorded history. The Miccosukee and Seminole Indian tribes wrote descriptions of a Bigfoot-like creature.

Workers on the Florida East Coast railroad were the source of rumors about a captured Skunk Ape. Supposedly, railroad magnate Henry Flagler had it kept in a special suite in his Ponce De Leon hotel.

An apocryphal story exists which claims the 19th governor of Florida, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, coined the name "Skunk Ape" from his reaction to seeing one of the cryptids when touring a dredging site in 1907.

During the construction of the C-38 canal in the 1960's, there was a boom of Skunk Ape sightings in and around human settlements. This caused considerable tension between the human and Bigfoot populations. Further human development into the everglades basin lines up with Skunk Ape sightings becoming much more common by the late 1970's.

The now-defunct North American Cryptozoological Society labeled it as threatened in the 1970's and only a few hundred Skunk Apes are left in the wild.

In 1977 the Florida State Legislature failed to pass a bill which would have made it a crime to "harm or molest anthropoid or humanoid animals” as a response to the Skunk Ape encroachment. This did not pass, and is to date the closest the state has come to protect any form of Bigfoot through law.

Location and Population:

Skunk Ape populations are concentrated in southern Florida, with a few small pockets believed to exist in small bands wandering the panhandle.

The largest population of Skunk Apes lives in Big Cypress National Preserve. Their exact population is still believed to be around 100 specimens, making up the majority of the population overall.

It is estimated that the Skunk Ape may become extinct by 2030, depending on the severity of climate change, saltwater intrusion and sea level rise on their habitat.

Hunting or Procurement Methods:

When living closer to humans, Skunk Apes are more likely to incorporate human settlement into its dwelling. There are numerous small encampments in the urban areas created by the homeless which are believed to be used by Skunk Apes after being abandoned by humans.

Skunk Ape fur is highly oily and plaster impressions of their footprints are some of the rarest of any cryptic tracks.

There is no proof of anybody holding a Skunk Ape captive Their noted aroma does not linger and the soft earth in their natural habitat makes the normally simple job of tracking a bigfoot much more perilous.

The most reliable way to pinpoint a Skunk Ape dwelling is to check the internet and a local newspaper, if one is still printing, for a spike in missing pets, livestock, and alcoholic beverage kegs.

Encounter Records:

Now, the first time I ever personally saw the Skunk Ape, I was living with my first husband in Palatka. We'd just moved into a new trailer, the old one had floors sinking in and an unwelcome houseguest had left it smelling like a public restroom.

I was working a lot then, and taking care of a feral cat colony that lived underneath my unit meant I didn't have a lot of patience for that shit. So it's the middle of the night, and I wake up because the smell's gotten so bad. I'm thinking aw shit, Rick's come back for his stuff. I grab a cleaver and run up to the door to tell him to fuck off.

Instead right there over the feeding dishes was this BIG thing. I was blinking to try and figure out what I was seeing. We froze when we saw each other. But I saw what he was holding. If he thought he could walk off with my babies he had another thing coming.

The cleaver didn't help much. I'm not exactly the most athletic person in the world but I got the first hit in about a nanosecond after I saw what was in his hand. But it just got tangled in that unkept bush of a coat. But he dropped Daisy, and started hoofing it back to the forest.

That's where it started for me. I found some blood on the fence where it had gone off. Never got my cleaver back. Nice cleaver, I miss it sometimes. But I'd pay that again to be where I am now.

I've never smelled anything like it ever again. But I know we're going to meet again before we go.

Audio log of Darlene Wuornos, Wayward Society

Video Transcript of a kid's birthday party home movie. Video has been lost.

FATHER: Happy birthday, sweetie!

MOTHER: Blow out the candles!

DAUGHTER: I wish for a million presents!

ADULT 1:(off camera) They really went all-out for this one, huh?

ADULT 2: Tell me about it. You think they're trying to put the rest of us to shame. There's a costumed mascot guy waiting in the garage to come out and play with the kids once they finish cutting the cake.

CHILD 1: (Screaming.)

MOTHER: Oh, honey, you're okay, here, let's get this cake off your shirt before the Easter Bunny gets here.

DAUGHTER: That's not the easter bunny.

Camera is dropped, camera breaks and only muffled voices are recorded.

Written Statement Provided to the Dade County Public Safety Office by Sebastian Coronado, 1961, transcribed.

I was so lucky to be free. I left the old place and found something new, something outside where one could be safe, and live with dignity. It was cold, and hard, but I was living. They stayed close through it all.

Those swollen red eyes, always swiveling, turning, and stretching, watching. Through the sawgrass and the mangroves, deep in the swamp. I couldn't smell them, then.

You can't imagine how it felt to never have the comfort of privacy. It didn't matter how far I went or how long I was gone, I always had to come back to the eyes. They studied me, trying to find a way to take me.

It got worse when I lost my dog. Chewed through a fence and took off into the woods. No time to grab the flashlight. I'm glad I didn't. The crunch was bad enough. Red eyes and matted fur scuttling through the crack until all of them were free. All I could so was hide until morning.

The stink came the next day. I thought it was Tip, at first. So I went out to find him, the poor boy should've gotten a decent burial. All they left was the joint bones. I didn't know what they wanted then, and I always thought it would be something that would leave me dead.

Wish I'd been right.

A lot of my neighbors were moving out, Big Sugar needed the land. But they left me alone. After awhile, felt like it was just me and them. They saw me through.

They stopped being as scary after that. Honestly, appreciated the company. Sometimes I went out in the woods and saw things. Little… bone sculptures, sticks tied together, rock formations and scuffs in the dirt. But none of that was… close to the body. It was in the clearing, skeleton sitting in a wicker chair. In my clothes.

I don't know anything else about how it got there. But this is the god-honest truth, I had nothing to do with that skeleton they dug up out there. That's everything I know.

Coronado was charged with manslaughter, and reached a plea deal with prosecutors before reaching trial. He was released in 1976.


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