Into the Wild

The Myth of the Skunk Ape

Legend has it that Myakka River State Park is home to the fearsome Skunk Ape.

By Cooper Levey-Baker November 29, 2017 Published in the December 2017 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Myakka River State Park isn’t home to just gators, birds and bobcats. According to the scholars of Wikipedia and YouTube, it’s also the domain of the fearsome Skunk Ape. Considered a relative of Bigfoot, the Skunk Ape stands roughly 7 feet tall and earned its name because of the nauseating stench that follows this “hominid cryptid” around. Although cynics may call the rumored sightings of the Skunk Ape fake news, rangers report several real-life incidents over the years—most involving rowdy visitors. For example, in 2013, in a stunt that still plays on YouTube, a prankster dressed up in a Skunk Ape costume, causing park visitors to gape and snap pictures. Or at least rangers want you to believe it was a prankster…

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