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January 04, 2006 17:56 PM

Johor's Bigfoot - Remnants Of Pre-Historic Apes?

By Mohd Haikal Mohd Isa

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 4 (Bernama) -- Could Bigfoot, believed to have been spotted in the jungles of Johor, actually be a pre-historic animal which had gone extinct over hundreds of thousand years ago?

Based on the Bigfoot-Giganto theory, researchers claimed that Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, Yeti or Mawas was probably a pre-historic giant ape which lived during the Middle of Pleistocene age.

The animal is believed to be living in several parts of Asia including China and Southeast Asia, as well as North America during ancient times before facing extinction from the earth some 200,000 to 500,000 years ago.

The question of whether Bigfoot was a pre-historic animal had long been discussed by researchers across the world but until now, they have failed to reach any definite answer to it.

This raised questions whether the Bigfoot sightings by several individuals, including Orang Asli villagers at the 248 million year old Endau-Rompin National Park, may be the remnants of the Gigantopithecus Blacki (or 'Giant Ape' in Latin) species.

At the same time, there were similar physical traits between Gigantopithecus and Bigfoot, which according to the Orang Asli folks, the giant animal, which was said to be 10 feet tall, with brown hairy body, was sighted in several jungle spots in Johor.

Before this, several animal species believed to have gone extinct, were later found to still exist. For example, the Coelacanth fish, known to have existed about 360 million years ago and believed to have gone into extinction, was caught by fishermen in 1938.

According to the US-based Bigfoot Field Research Organisation (BFRO), researchers on the animal generally accepted the Bigfoot-Giganto theory.

The BFRO which claims itself as the most credible Bigfoot research organisation on its website, said the issue of Gigantopithecus had caught the interest of many anthropologists and primatologists.

Johor National Park Corporation (JNPC) Director Hashim Yusof when asked by Bernama on the link between Bigfoot and Gigantopithecus, said that the possibility is there, given the park's huge space and age.

"The Endau-Rompin National Park covers 48,906 hectares or 800 sq. km and aged 248 million years. We only have information on half of the flora and fauna inside it," he said. Recently JNPC organised a one-day expedition at Endau-Rompin to trek Bigfoot but failed to find any traces such as its footprints.

Hashim said, his party would organise another expedition to track down Bigfoot at the Endau Rompin National Park probably next month, where they will stay for a week inside the forest.

Meanwhile, another Johorian environmentalist Vincent Chow said the Bigfoot-Giganto theory that Bigfoot could be the remnants of the Gigantopithecus Blacki species might be the most accurate.

He said the theory had its grounds as it was based on experts' findings such as those in anthropology and other related fields.

Chow, an adviser of an environmental association in the state, said that the Endau-Rompin National Park's age matched that of the era of the giant ape Gigantopithecus which existed in the face of the earth.

At the same time, the virgin forest of the National Park makes it conducive for the giant animal's habitat.

"Bigfoot should be protected and regarded as the state's heritage," he said.

-- BERNAMA

 

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