Mar 07, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The Mysterious Apes and Monkeys of Puerto Rico: When Nature Gives Us Big Surprises

I should stress that - in relation to the title of this article - the mystery comes from two things: (A) reports of unknown apes and (B) the question of why some certain out-of-place monkeys are on the island of Puerto Rico, at all. Let's begin with an animal that shouldn't be on Puerto Rico, but that is on the island. I've been to Puerto Rico on many occasions, always looking for the Chupacabra. However, also on every time I've heard of distinctly out-of-place animals. One perfect example is a colony of Cotton-Top Tamarin, a small monkey on Puerto Rico. You might think there's nothing strange to that. Except for one important and baffling thing: the monkey is native to Colombia, South America. And nowhere else. It takes its name from the mane of white hair that dominates its head. Now, admittedly, this is not as exciting as finding a Chupacabra. But, the fact is that there should not be any Cotton-Top Tamarins living wild, anywhere on Puerto Rico. Incredibly, however, that's exactly what's going on. Of course, no-one would mistake a monkey for a Chupacabra (would they...?), but this story demonstrates just how nature can give us more than a few strange surprises.

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(Nick Redfern) A page from my book, "Chupacabra Road-Trip" showing one of the monkeys hanging out and having a good time

Now, onto a woman named Guanina who lives in Moca. A teenager back in 1987, Guanina used to enjoy walking the hills around Moca. That is, however, until a decidedly traumatic, and even horrific, experience occurred in May 1987 and put paid to all of that. As she strolled around the pathways, Guanina suddenly heard the unmistakable screech of a pig in distress. She raced up the hill, for a further forty or fifty feet or so, and was confronted by a shocking sight: six or seven monkeys were viciously attacking the poor pig, which, by now, was on the ground and clearly close to being in mortal danger. Guanina shouted at the monkeys, which suddenly ceased their attack, and turned their eyes away from the pig and onto Guanina.

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(Nick Redfern) Puerto Rico: The lair of the Chupacabra and Bigfoot?

For a second or two, there was a tense stand-off. Fortunately, however, the monkeys merely made violent, screaming chatter and then raced away into the deeper grass of the hill. Equally fortunately, the pig – although obviously traumatized – unsteadily rose to its feet, stood around for a few minutes, presumably trying to get its bearings, and then wandered off into the undergrowth. Not surprisingly, a terrified Guanina raced down the hill to the safety of her home. When Guanina told her parents what she had just seen, all three decided to look into the matter further. Scanning various books in the local library, they were soon able to identify the attacking animals as Rhesus monkeys. A frightening situation, to say the least.I have to say this echoes of the "rage virus" in the 2002 movie 28 Days Later.

Now, onto the Puerto Rican Bigfoot. Yes, you did read that right. A Bigfoot. On Puerto Rico. Or, rather deep within the island's El Yunque rainforest. I should make it clear that the numbers of reports I have on file of sightings of large apes in the massive rainforest are no more than a handful; I need to stress that. We are most definitely not talking about dozens upon dozens of cases. But, I have to admit that there are enough reports to make me think we should not dismiss these accounts. I should also state that - for the most part - we aren't talking about something like the giant, 7-foot-type Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Rather, most of the descriptions of the creatures are of animals about the size of a full-grown chimpanzee. There is one additional thing: the animals are described as walking upright, just like us. Interestingly, that's very similar (if not practically identical) to the Orang-Pendek of Sumatra - another mysterious ape that walks upright. It won't be too long before my next trip to Puerto Rico. And, while I'll definitely being looking for the latest on the Chupacabra, I'll also be keeping a look out for those rage-filled monkeys and those anomalous apes.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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