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Sightings Of Sasquatch Can't Be Dismissed

This short piece in regards to Bigfoot just crossed the desk from

An animal expert has claimed that "thousands" of sightings of the mythical Bigfoot are "still impossible to explain away", despite new reports that suggest that the animal has been "identified." Recently, a study was published in the Journal of Zoology, which tried to explain why certain areas have more sightings of Bigfoot than others.

Floe Foxon, who is the author of the study and the founder of the Folk Zoology Society, wrote that many people may have conflated the American Black Bear with the sasquatch. "It has been suggested that the American black bear (Ursus americanus) may be responsible for a significant number of purported sightings of an alleged unknown species of hominid in North America," Foxon said.

There are approximately 800,000 black bears living on the North American continent. The Foxon-authored study contained a model of Bigfoot sightings alongside bear populations in each American state and Canadian province and was adjusted for the human populations of the areas and the forest area.

The analysis found that supposed sightings of Bigfoot are "statistically significantly associated with bear populations". Foxon said there is a correlation between bigfoot sightings and the increase in black bear numbers.

"As black bear populations increase, Sasquatch sightings are expected to increase. On average, across all states and provinces in 2006, after controlling for human population and forest area, there were approximately 5,000 bears per sasquatch sightings," she wrote.

"Based on statistical considerations, it is likely that many supposed sasquatches are really misidentified known forms. If Bigfoot is there, it could be a bear."

Andy McGrath, a cryptozoologist and author of Beasts of the World: Hairy Humanoids, told the Daily Star that it is "logical" that "many sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures around the world" are just "misidentifications of varying species of bear".

"It is no mistake that the word Yeti can also be translated as 'mountain-bear' or 'man-bear' and could just as easily be applied to a large creature like a bear as it could an undiscovered man-ape," he said.

While acknowledging the possible conflation, McGrath said that bears are "are really quite different" from the descriptions some people made of Bigfoot. Therefore, the expert said that the physical difference between the two species is "making it hard for such a misidentification to last for any more than a brief moment".

"Standing bears have sloping shoulders, whereas Bigfoot is always described as being broad shouldered. Also bears have prominent snouts and ears on top of their heads, whereas Bigfoot are invariably described as resembling an ape with a flat face," he said.

"Witnesses have also described Bigfoot walking comfortably on two legs and using their man-like hands to grasp things like sticks or rocks, a feat no bear could perform."

McGrath laments that Bigfoot discourse has been "tainted" by "a cult-like fan-boy culture". The cryptozoologist believes that "It is still impossible to explain away the thousands of descriptive sightings and long encounters that people have had with these strange creatures around the world."


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