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Saturday January 7, 2006

Bigfoot may be prehistoric ape

Photo of the 40cm to 50cm footprint of a creature believed to be Bigfoot discovered in Mawai, Kota Tinggi. 

COULD Bigfoot, believed to have been spotted in the jungles of Johor, actually be a prehistoric animal which had gone extinct hundreds of thousand of years ago? 

Based on the BigfootGiganto theory, researchers claimed that Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, Yeti or Mawas was probably a prehistoric giant ape, which lived during the Middle or Pleistocene age. 

The animal is believed to have lived in several parts of Asia including China and South-East Asia, as well as in North America before facing extinction some 200,000 to 500,000 years ago. 

Paleoanthro sculptor Bill Munns with his Giganto reconstruction in his Los Angeles backyard.
The question of whether Bigfoot was a prehistoric animal has long been discussed by researchers from across the world, but until now, they have failed to reach a definite answer. 

This raises questions of whether the Bigfoot sightings by several individuals, including orang asli villagers, in the 248-million-year-old Endau-Rompin National Park may be that of the remnants of the Gigantopithecus Blacki (or giant ape in Latin) species. 

Gigantopithecus and Bigfoot have similar physical traits. 

According to the orang asli, the giant animal, said to be 3m tall and having a brown hairy body, has been sighted in several jungle spots in Johor. 

Several animal species believed to have become extinct were later found to exist. 

For example, the Coelacanth fish, known to have existed 360 million years ago, was caught by fishermen in 1938. 

According to US-based Bigfoot Field Research Organisation (BFRO), researchers generally accepted the BigfootGiganto theory. 

BFRO, which claims to be the most credible Bigfoot research organisation on its website, said the Gigantopithecus theory had caught the interest of many anthropologists and primatologists. 

Johor National Park Corporation (JNPC) director Hashim Yusof, said the possibility was there, given the park’s huge space and age. 

Photo of the 40cm to 50cm footprint of a creature believed to be Bigfoot discovered in Mawai, Kota Tinggi.
“The Endau-Rompin National Park covers 800 sq km and is 248 million years old. We have information on only half of the flora and fauna in it,” he said. 

Recently, JNPC organised a one-day expedition in the park to track Bigfoot but failed to find any traces such as footprints. 

Hashim said that JNPC would organise a week-long expedition next month. 

Meanwhile, Johor environmentalist Vincent Chow said the theory that Bigfoot could be a remnant of the Gigantopithecus Blacki species might be accurate. 

He said the theory had grounds as it was based on findings of experts in anthropology and related fields. 

Chow said the Endau-Rompin National Park’s age matched the era of Gigantopithecus. 

The virgin forest of the national park is also a conducive habitat for the giant animal. 

“Bigfoot should be protected and regarded as a state heritage,” he said. – Bernama 



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