Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Skunk Ape Sighting in New Orleans City Park

City Park in New Orleans, LA

There are parts of City Park that most visitors never see.  City Park in New Orleans is larger than Central Park in New York City.  If you are in New Orleans for a few days, you'll usually stay around the main entrance of the park, where the art museum is and the sculpture garden and Morning Call.  

Further back, there are all sorts of things that won't be of interest to the casual visitor.  One of these things is a forest off Harrison Avenue, which runs through the park.  I'm not going to give you directions because you probably won't go there anyway, so, why waste the typing?

I was in the forest the other day, which is threaded through with paths between underbrush and oak trees and cypress trees and pine trees and other trees I don't know the names of.  It can be kind of creepy back there, full of odd noises and unexplainable sensations.  Some people say there is voodoo back there and I've seen evidence of that.  Some people say the forest is haunted.  While I've felt the hair on my arms stand on end, I've never seen any direct evidence of ghosts.  

Yesterday, though, I did see a skunk ape.  At least, I thought it was a skunk ape.  I still think that.  It certainly smelled like a skunk ape.

Mysterious things in City Park, New Orleans, LA
I was walking along, minding my own business, as I approached a tree by a lagoon.

A cryptic tree in City Park, New Orleans, LA
Something stunk like rotten cabbage.  You know what I mean?  I walked under the tree and the smell just got stronger.  Woof!  After I was under the tree, I heard a rustling overhead.  When I turned, that's when I saw it: the skunk ape!

Skunk apes are more commonly seen in Florida.  In fact, there hasn't been a documented skunk ape sighting in Louisiana (arguably until now).  What has been sighted in Louisiana is the Honey Island Swamp Monster, which is similar to the a skunk ape.  

I'm no cryptozoologist, so I can't tell the difference between a Honey Island swamp monster and a skunk ape.  It would probably take DNA tests to determine what, exactly, I saw.  I'm leaning more toward skunk ape, though, and not just because it's more fun to say.  Looking at some old footage of the Honey Island Swamp Monster, I remain convinced that what I saw was a skunk ape.

Naturally, I didn't have my camera with me.  Isn't that always the way?  I did go back today to take a picture to serve as proof that I saw the skunk ape.  I provide it to you below...

This is a picture of the branch on which the skunk ape was sitting when I spotted him:

The skunk ape tree
When the skunk ape realized that I knew he was there, he waved.  Then, before I realized what was happening, he ran away.  There were no signs of him when I went back to the tree today.

You never know what you are going to see in New Orleans.

If you want to learn more, you know where to find me.  I'm at La Belle Esplanade, where every morning is a curated New Orleans breakfast salon.

Update, March 2017:  Please visit The New Orleans Oddtiarium to read about the good work The Odditarium has been doing trying to track down the skunk ape in City Park.  The Odditarium is a makeshift museum that has it's own website.  It's headquartered in our lobby at La Belle Esplanade.  Our small boutique inn really is the most interesting place to stay in America's most interesting city!  The skunk ape reports can be found by clicking the "Odditarium News" tab on The Odditarium's website.

À votre santé.

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