"It Was a Monkey. A Monkey. A Big One!" ~Patricia de la Mora
Patricia’s husband James De La Mora added, “It was a big one! Like a person, you know. It was big!” The first eye-witnesses, who called 911 around 2:00 AM on Monday, September 9, 2019, saw something nosing around outside their home. They called the police because this “monkey” was human-sized. The encounter occurred in Santa Fe, TX.
Patricia said she did not have time to get her phone. She stood at her bedroom window stunned by what she saw and paralyzed by fear. “He tried to find something,” Patricia said. “And he looked over there, then he looked over there, and I closed the curtain. I didn’t want him to see me.” Soon after that, it was gone.
But what made things stranger is what happened next. “Right after that we saw some cars coming by flashing lights,” James De La Mora said. “We thought it was the police but it was just regular cars. With big, big flashlights.” James De La Mora says he was not sure what to think when his wife exclaimed there was a giant primate outside of their home. After seeing the cars with the lights he says he was certain.
“When they come looking with the flashlights, then I knew,” James said. “I think that somebody owns it or has it illegally you know because it’s dangerous to have an animal like that in a neighborhood.”
Who were in those cars? What were they up to at two in the morning on a weeknight, driving around with “big, big” flashlights? Was James right in thinking that someone had ‘lost’ their ‘dangerous’ pet and were looking for it in a residential neighborhood? Could these have been Squatchers chasing down a skunk ape? I have not been able to find any additional information on who was investigating the perambulating primate before the police arrived, but this will be one of the leads that I will pursue.
For two days, the search was on. Several other reports came in once the story broke, and there was much confusion over whether they were searching for a monkey, ape, or something else. Steve Lightfoot, of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, has gone on record claiming that it is probably an escaped chimpanzee, even though no one has reported a missing ape. Chimps can reach heights of up to 5’6″ tall. They primarily move by knuckle-walking, but no one reported how it was moving. If someone were to report it moving or whether it had a tail, we would probably be able to narrow down what type of primate it is.
Searchers include the Santa Fe Police Department and the Bayou Animal Shelter, who have not seen any evidence of a primate so far. Drones have not been able to locate the creature. “The Santa Fe police department has been unable to substantiate that there is a primate on the loose or that anyone has been attacked,” Lt. Greg Boody said, noting the investigation continues.
The director of Bayou Animal Services, Sarah Haywood, is more reserved while discussing the alleged public sightings. She said: “This may be a hoax of the century, but we are taking it seriously.” “Please do not call animal control or the police station with false statements you yourself are unable to verify,” she said on the Bayou Animal Services’ Facebook. “This is not helpful to the authorities or to the animal.”
- Do not approach, chase, or try and catch a primate if you have sighted said monkey [on the loose].
- Take a picture and call animal control ASAP. The picture is to verify what type of monkey this is. Knowing the type will keep this monkey safe if it needs to be tranquilized.
- Do not go searching for the monkey. Extra people looking for this animal is going to cause a risk of someone getting hurt.
- A team that is certified in dealing with primates is on the ground now helping us locate the animal. Do not interfere. Do not attempt to help. They are professionals and know what they are doing.
- Please do not call animal control or the police station with false statements you yourself are unable to verify. This is not helpful to the authorities or to the animal.
Notable is the fact that they choose to refer to it as a “monkey,” though I have yet to read an eyewitness account that described it as a “human-sized monkey.” These reports were from a week ago, and I have not seen any new reports of the animal.
My thoughts? If this isn’t an escaped, exotic pet– an adult Pan troglodytes, and since the actual eyewitnesses did not report a small monkey, then the only other purported primate that would match the encounter would be what is known locally as the Skunk Ape. These animals are reported from eastern Texas across the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Also known as Swamp Cabbage man, the Swamp ape, Stink ape, Myakka ape, Myakka skunk ape, Swampsquatch, and Bigfoot. Skunk apes have been seen in rural and suburban areas throughout this region, and they are described as being large, hairy, foul-smelling, bipedal, and ape-like beings. This could be why Patricia and James de la Mora felt that the creature that they saw was not only big “like a person” but also potentially dangerous.