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Footprints Found May Be From Ucumar, the Argentine Bigfoot

Is there a cryptid uprising underway in Argentina? Hot on the heels of reports of a second murder in that country attributed to blood-removing Chupacrabra, a farmer in the mountainous Salta province in the northwestern part of Argentina has revealed large and unusual humanoid footprints of an equally large and unusual humanoid creature suspected of killing many of his farm animals. Residents of the town where the farm is located are blaming the strange killings on an Ucumar or Ucumar-Zupai, the legendary Yeti Salteño – the Yeti or Bigfoot of Salta. A what?

“The night before the appearance of the tracks we were struck by the crying of the dogs, barking and crying inconsolably We thought they were thieves and the caregiver made some shots in the air to scare and after the shots, the dogs immediately calmed down. The strange thing is that when there are people, the dogs usually bark, they do not cry.”

Nelson Colque, owner of the Don Rosa farm, told El Tribuno de Salta on March 27 that he noticed some of his goats were missing the day after the crying dogs incident, which was a few weeks before he reported it. He and some others went into the mountains to look for them. The ground was still soft from recent rains and, while looking for goat tracks, they noticed the strange humanoid footprints in a number of areas. Fortunately, Colgue took pictures and also measured them. (See a picture here.)

“But it caught our attention, the size of the footprint, it was between 12 and 15 centimeters wide and about 25 or 30 centimeters long, because of the proportion, the truth is that it is not a normal footprint.”

“Not a normal footprint” Is an understatement. It was 4.75 to 5.9 inches wide and 9.8 to 11.8 inches long – much wider and somewhat longer than an average human print. The shape of the print and those measurements, along with the memory of a similar incident last year when a neighbor found a 20 kg (44 pound) pig torn apart, convinced him it was not a wild dog or cougar, which are not known to be in the area anyway.

What about a bear?

The El Tribuno report suggested it might be an Ucumar and quoted an origin and description of the mythical beast from historian, writer and poet Carlos Jesús Maita.

“This being is a kind of hybrid between human and animal, with a mixture of bear, man and monkey. It arose according to carnal relations between compadres and comadres, or between a patron and a servant, where the son was hidden in some forest or jungle, and ended up living in the forest, and that is how the humanoid would have emerged.”

Bear-man-monkey relations? They sure know how to party in Argentina, but it’s not the only description of the Ucumar. Ucumar and Ukumari are names for the nearly-extinct spectacled bear, which is the only bear native to South America and primarily vegetarian, and some say the Ucumar is a hairy half-bear, half-human. In order for it to be the creature stealing goats from the Don Rosa farm, it would have to be taller than a spectacled bear and have human feet.

Spectacled bear at the Houston Zoo

There have been previous sightings of the Salta Yeti. El Tribuno reported about an alleged Ucumar back in 2010, when two men killed and beheaded a strange humanoid creature and photos of its head had many fearing it was the Ucumar. Cooler attached heads prevailed and determined the small creature was an ape, albeit not one of the monkeys native to the area.

Is the creature that made the footprints photographed by Nelson Colque a monkey? A bear or bear-human or bear-monkey-human hybrid? A human with deformed feet, a fear of shoes and a penchant for goats? Something else? We’ll keep watching.

(Special thanks to Inexplicata-The Journal Of Hispanic Ufology for first reporting this story.)

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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