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Geographical Index > United States > Malaysia (International) > Article # 485

Media Article # 485

Thursday, February 23, 2006

[More about tracks on road in Panti, Kota Tinggi]

By R. Sittamparam
New Straits Times

The distinctive shape of the giant footprints, believed to be that of the Johor Bigfoot, shows the creature could be a swamp dweller.

The footprints, found in Panti, Kota Tinggi, last week, showed splayed toes compared to the toes being close together in the case of the American Sasquatch (Bigfoot), said Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Animal Science Department head Dr Azhar Kasim today.

This could imply that the Johor Bigfoot had evolved separately to adapt to the wet and muddy conditions of swamps and riverbanks of Malaysia.

He said the creature, obviously being bulky and heavy, required large feet with splayed toes to move about in the soft ground of the Malaysian rainforest.

He was asked to comment on the plaster cast of a large footprint, believed to be that of the Johor Bigfoot, found by a team of local and foreign media and researchers at the foothills of Gunung Panti on Monday.

The footprint, measuring 60cm by 30cm and about 10cm deep, was similar to those found last Saturday by another exploration team a few kilometres away and the footprints seen on a tarred road at nearby Kampung Temening last month.

Dr Azhar said the splayed foot of the gigantic creature was consistent with the areas where the footprints were found: riverbanks and muddy spots.

On yesterday’s find of mysterious clearings in the secondary forest where the giant footprints were seen, Dr Azhar said it was common animal behaviour to keep nesting areas open and clear.

"This will enable the animal to easily escape when faced with threats. However, in this case, there is no nest in the area," he added.

Dr Azhar said another explanation could be that the area was being prepared as a courtship space for mating.

It was reported today that bio-diversity researcher Vincent Chow, who was collecting evidence on the Johor Bigfoot at Kampung Lukut China, was puzzled to find two cleared areas and large piles of tree branches and saplings.

He observed that there was no sign that parangs were used to cut the branches and saplings and it appeared that a powerful creature had pulled down thick branches from about three metres high, thorny leaves of the rattan plant and uprooted saplings, to make the clearing.

He added that it was interesting to note that the creature had chosen a cool and shady area about four metres in radius and neatly cleared it of saplings and branches and leaves, with the refuse piled in the centre.

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