The Everglades Skunk Ape: Florida’s Stinky Swamp Monster

Everglades skunk apeYou’ve probably heard about most Everglades predators: large alligators, monstrous pythons, elusive black panthers, and the list goes on. But do you know about the smelliest, most reclusive predator of them all? It’s called the Everglades skunk ape, rightfully named for its supposed rotten eggs stench. It walks on two legs, its whole body immersed in dark brown fur, and it stands at a baffling seven feet tall. Of course, all of this information relies on hearsay, but some Florida folks swear they’ve seen the tall, foul-smelling swamp monster.

Everglades Skunk Ape: Myth or More?

While some researchers believe early settlers spread the skunk ape story in an effort to preserve Everglades wilderness, other researchers and Florida residents claim they’ve sighted the beastly bigfoot of the Everglades.

A popular skunk ape account comes from Dave Shealy, who asserts he saw Florida’s bigfoot during an Everglades hunting trip in his youth. From then on, Shealy wanted to prove its existence. And in 2000, the devout skunk ape believer captured video footage of a two-legged dark brown mass traipsing through Everglades terrain.

Now Shealy runs the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters – yes, it’s a real place located in the Everglades – which lies in the eerily small town of Ochopee. Entry to the zoo-like exhibit costs $5, where you’ll see 12-foot Burmese pythons among other swamp monsters. Unfortunately, the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters houses no captive skunk apes at this time.

But Shealy’s not the only person who boasts seeing a real-life skunk ape. Researchers and residents alike reported almost 100 Everglades skunk ape sightings from the ‘70s all the way up to 2013.

How the Skunk Ape got its Name

Florida folklore tells of a skunk ape that resides in alligator holes, which are full of decaying animal corpses. The beast bathes in the rotten mess and thus emerges from its den as an offensively pungent part-monkey, part-man, part-monster. Sighting reports say the skunk ape carries a vile odor similar to rotten eggs or sewage waste.

Sighting an Everglades Skunk Ape

According to legend, skunk apes communicate with one another through throaty coos. First, listen intently for such sounds. And remember to keep your eyes peeled for a tall, man-like brown body moving through the brush. Witnesses claim the Everglades skunk ape can move at accelerated speeds not attainable by humans, so be sure not to arouse its suspicion as it will surely catch you.

Opt for an Airboat Ride

Do you want to experience the Everglades without running to Florida’s bigfoot? Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours keep you a safe distance from skunk apes while showing you remote and beautiful areas of the Everglades. To book your private airboat tour today, click here or call 239-695-3377.