The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating a report of an unidentified ape-like creature spotted swinging from trees on the edge of town in La Crescenta, California. An eyewitness luckily caught cell phone footage of the cryptid while hiking, causing local law enforcement to take his claims seriously. Now, animal control authorities are warning local residents to take precautions when outside due to the dangers great apes - or whatever the creature is - can pose.
The eyewitness, Jacob Gardiner, claims he was taking his daily afternoon work break hike through the woods when he noticed the animal life around him go quiet. After having the distinct sensation of being watched, Gardiner took out his phone to document any strangeness he encountered. It wasn’t until he reviewed the footage that he noticed a dark, four-limbed silhouette climbing through the branches above him.
Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says that the footage appears to be genuine. Hughan claims that the ape is likely someone’s pet which escaped or was set free after its owners realized how difficult caring for a great ape can be. If it is indeed an ape, Hughan says that anyone who comes across the beast in the wild should proceed with caution:
We think that it's a pretty good possibility that it is some kind of ape. These animals are incredibly strong. And they can very easily kill or seriously injure a person because -- if it turns out to be an ape -- this animal is scared, hungry, out of its element. People import the animals as illegal exotic pets. Now, that’s not great, but what happens is the animals can get out of control and they either escape or they get too unruly and the owners just let them go.
La Crescenta, is a suburban community in the highlands north of Los Angeles. La Crescenta is adjacent to the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel mountains, making it a perfect place for a large ape or ape-like beast to hide and thrive.
Strange creature sightings are nothing new to California; a skinned, dead zebra washed up on a California shore earlier this year. For various reasons, exotic animals and strange pets were for a period part of the extravagant lifestyle enjoyed by some bored members of California's upper crust. Michael Jackson even famously operated a zoo at Neverland Ranch outside Santa Barbara, California, complete with Bubbles, MJ's pet chimpanzee. The unidentified animal in this latest video is in all likelihood a runaway or abandoned chimp or other great ape, but until it’s positively identified or caught, this one remains a mystery.
Oh, and it's definitely not Bubbles. Bubbles currently lives at the Center for Great Apes in Florida.