The skunk ape, also known as the swamp cabbage man, swamp ape, stink ape, Florida Bigfoot, Louisiana Bigfoot, myakka ape, swampsquatch, and myakka skunk ape, is a humanoid creature said to inhabit the U.S. states of Florida, North Carolina, and Arkansas, although reports from Florida are most common. It is named for its appearance and for the unpleasant odor that is said to accompany it. In terms of appearance the skunk ape is reported to resemble the Sasquatch of the Pacific Northwest, but is typically shorter in comparison, has long patches of fur on the shoulders and arms similar to an orangutan, and is often described as a mottled rusty-red color as opposed to the Sasquatch's brown or black coloration.
The skunk ape has been a part of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama folklore since the settler period. Seminole myth speaks of a similar foul-smelling, physically powerful, and secretive creature called Esti Capcaki, a name which roughly translates as "cannibal giant". One of the first reports of a large simian creature in Florida came from 1818, when a report from what is now Apalachicola, Florida, spoke of a man-sized monkey or ape raiding food stores and stalking fishermen.
Reports of the skunk ape were particularly common in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974, sightings of a large, foul-smelling, hairy, ape-like creature, which ran upright on two legs were reported in suburban neighborhoods of Dade County, Florida. Skeptical investigator Joe Nickell has written that some of the reports may represent sightings of the black bear (Ursus americanus) and it is likely that other sightings are hoaxes or misidentification of wildlife. The United States National Park Service considers the skunk ape to be a hoax.
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