Poser over baby Bigfoot poachers

Poser over baby Bigfoot poachers
21 Apr 2006
R. Sittamparam

KOTA TINGGI: Could the people in four-wheel-drive vehicles and a truck purportedly carrying a baby Bigfoot, who dropped in for dinner at a restaurant at a rest area at Felda Tenggaroh 2 here last month, be poachers?

This is the question on the minds of people at the rest area who saw the group of about 20 men and their vehicles bearing the Wildlife Department licence plates.

The Wildlife Department has denied that such an operation was carried out by its officers.

They are now asking if the group, which had also been seen at two other rest stops along Jalan Mersing and the town area around the same time, could be Bigfoot poachers.

According to people at Felda Tenggaroh 2, it was raining at the time and the casually-dressed men who arrived in their mud-splattered vehicles were sitting near the shop after having their dinner.

Some of the men were seen chatting with a couple of salesgirls at a shop, and when asked where they came from, they said had come from the jungle further up Jalan Mersing.

The men also told the girls that they had come from Kuala Lumpur and had camped in the jungle for the past two or three days, adding that they had shot a baby Bigfoot using a tranquiliser gun.

When the girls asked if it was a mawas (orang utan) they had shot, the men confirmed that it was indeed a Bigfoot creature and volunteered to show it to them.

However, when the girls went outside the shop with the men, the truck where the baby Bigfoot was believed to have been kept, was just being driven away.

Met yesterday, the girls said following a newspaper report on their story about the Bigfoot hunters on Wednesday, officers from the district Wildlife Department had quizzed them on the validity of their story.

The girls, who did not wish to be named, said they told the officers what they had seen and heard from members of the expedition group last month.

A businessman at the Kota Tinggi town area, who had also met the expedition members, claimed that he had taken a peek into the truck purportedly containing the Bigfoot and saw something big lying inside.

However, as the window screen of the truck was tinted, he could not see the creature clearly.

He added that the group members had turned down his request to photograph the creature with his camera phone.

Meanwhile, bio-diversity researcher Vincent Chow said there was absolutely no protection for the Johor Bigfoot and, therefore, it was easy for poachers to capture them.

"The Bigfoot, which has been frequently sighted at the fringes of the jungle here recently, has not been placed on the State’s list of endangered species and no law has been drawn up to protect them.

"This is a dangerous situation and if nothing is done, the Bigfoot population in our jungles could be wiped out," he said.