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COUNTY: Lee County
NEAREST TOWN: Ft. Myers
NEAREST ROAD: Palm Beach Blvd, and I 75
OBSERVED: It was on September 14th 2009, I had a face to face encounter with a Skunk Ape in Fort Myers, Florida.
It was about 2-2:30 am I was out in my back yard fishing from a pier in my back yard. I had just moved to Florida on the 1st of Sept. 2009. Honestly I had never heard of a Skunk Ape in my life, squatches and bigfoots yes I had, but being from New Mexico I had never heard of a Skunk Ape. Anyway I was outside fishing and I had caught a couple of snappers and had them there next to me in a bucket, I was dozing off when I heard a noise behind me about 30 feet away in a small canal directly behind me, I was lying down in a lawn cot and not in view of the Skunk Ape. I didn't pay it too much attention thinking it was a Raccoon which I had seen earlier. I heard the noise in the swamp again only louder and closer so I stood up to see what it was. I saw a large figure standing behind about a 5 - 6 ft. palm tree. I couldn't make out what it was so I walked up closer when I saw him turn towards me face to face and only about 15 feet away. I believe I scared or surprised the Ape about as much as he did me, he began to move from side to side and up and down as if mad or frightened. He definitely had an ape-like face and hairy body. Hard to tell the exact color because it was dark except for the light outside on the house, but it did appear to be a darkish brown color, I am guessing over six foot tall because he stood over the Palm tree about a head length. Directly in line with this small ditch or canal are the Railroad tracks leading across the Caloosahatchee River and back into the wilderness and forest or swamps. As I ran into the house to call my wife and son, he also retreated back towards the Railroad tracks and was gone. The house I moved into is in a very Secluded area of Ft. Myers, Florida in a lagoon and wild bird sanctuary.
ALSO NOTICED: None
OTHER WITNESSES: None
OTHER STORIES: Yes 2 boys claiming to have seen a Skunk Ape in the exact location around the same time.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 2-230 AM
Dark but visible
ENVIRONMENT: Swamp and River
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David Bakara:
We met the witness at the location of the sighting. The witness was fishing late at night as he does frequently. He was lying down on a folding lounge chair. His backyard is surrounded by tall weeds that boarder the RR tracks that run directly behind his house, and stretch over the river to the Wildlife Management Area on the other side of the river.The pier (dock) is on a small lagoon that leads to the Caloosahatchee River. When he first heard the creature he thought it was a raccoon. As the noise persisted, he got up to investigate. He slowly walked toward the sound and could make out something above his young 6' palm tree just a few steps from his back door. As he approached, he inadvertently triggered the motion sensor on his backdoor security light and could now see the culprit. It was standing behind the palm tree and he could see the face was that of an ape-like animal with a hairy, man-like body. It had long arms, but because it was behind the palm tree, he got the best view of only its face. He described it as more ape than man. The nose more like an ape as it was upturned instead of hooded. The hair was dark brown, he didn't see any ears, the skin on its cheeks and forehead was dark and weathered. It was bobbing back and forth, and making grunting noises. It seemed agitated and nervous. Its mouth was slightly open, but he doesn't recall any long fangs. When he realized this thing was not something he was familiar with, he turned and headed for the house. As he was headed for the backdoor, it was headed for the RR tracks.
Approximately a month later, he was fishing at a public pier 300 yards from his backyard when he overheard two teenagers talking about seeing the skunkape crossing the train trestle from the Caloosahatchee WMA to the mainland. This is a 500 yard walk across the river with four man made land bridges along the way. The water is only a few feet deep, except for the main waterway that runs through the furthest end. It would be about 12 feet deep. This area of Florida has a rich history of Skunkape sightings.
About BFRO Investigator David Bakara:
David has three daughters and a wife that shares his interest in research, both having developed a deep respect for nature and knowledge of the outdoors and wildlife. Attended Northern Florida Expedition 2011, 2012 Washington Exp., and 2012 North Florida exp. Prior US Navy and currently works as a Leasing Agent, spending his time off in the woods as often as he can investigating Bigfoot reports.