The Skunk Ape is Bigfoot, Florida-style, and Dave Shealy is determined to let people know he exists. Shealy has devoted his life to studying the skunk ape.
You can’t miss the giant Florida panther sculpture announcing the Skunk Ape Research Center on US 41. The Center exudes vintage Florida kitsch, and that coupled with the lure of the Skunk Ape lures you inside.
You’ll find a bounty of information in the gift shop, from field guides to DVDs about his quest. Inside you can hold a gator, snuggle a cockatoo, and drape yourself in a (hopefully) docile albino Burmese python.
I spent the night at Shealy’s campground; around 4 a.m., I saw something move outside my camper. Was it the Skunk Ape? I can’t swear it was. But then, I can’t swear it wasn’t.