On my yearly summer drive to Marco Island, I saw this giant panther and wondered, What the Hell?
This year on the trip back to Miami, I stopped in with my wife Marcela. We needed to check out what exactly the deal is with the Skunk Ape Headquarters (40904 Tamiami Trail East) in Ochopee, Florida.
You walk into what amounts to a gift shop selling t-shirts, magnets (alright, I’m a sucker, I bought one), and the Everglades Skunk Ape Research Field Guide. Let’s not forget about The Ochopee Skunk Ape Movie that is on sale also.
The Field Guide is cheapy looking, which is why I decide against buying it.
Once you check out the gift shop area, for a meager $3, you can walk into the back area and check out gators, iguanas, turtles, snakes, and birds.
Three Bucks to Get In?
Not bad for $3 if you ask me.
I did feel that at any point, someone was going to jump out and kill us (we were the only people here other than the two guys who work here), but my burger sense did not issue any warnings.
The fella who works with the animals was cool and took out the baby gator and the birds so we could see them up close. I have a sneaking suspicion that you could ask him to take out the snakes also.
He also talked to us about the Skunk Ape and how it’s the Big Foot of the Florida Everglades.
Cool place to check out if you have an hour or less to kill, and you can’t go wrong for $3.
UPDATE: We visited Skunk Ape Headquarters back in July of 2009 and based on what I’ve seen, a lot has changed for the better.