Aug 19, 2019 | Updated: 12:01 PM EDT

Another ‘Big’ Species Added to Endangered Species List? The Sasquatch Debate

Oct 26, 2014 03:25 PM EDT

(Photo : MNN)

While we ecologists like to often err on the side of caution when it comes to the preservation of species dwindling in the wild, this one has got to be one for the record books. We've heard of protecting mammals, marine species, and even those who choose to cross over state lines to inhabit new ecological niches. But what about protecting a "cryptide"? While most people are chalking it up to urban legends, one man from Chautauqua Lake, New York is making a plea to "Save Sasquatch".

Yes, you heard that right. Sasquatch, also commonly referred to as Bigfoot, is back in the limelight with an unexpected advocate.  Peter Wiemer, owner of the We Wan Chu Cottages on Chautauqua Lake, approached government officials this past Wednesday, Oct. 22, asking for the creation of the first ever legislature enforced to put Bigfoot on the endangered species list. And while his plea was completely sincere, the proposed legislature and Wiemer's plea met mixed emotions during the public portion of a meeting with Chautauqua County legislators.

"You're not going to be looked at as being crazy" Wiemer said in defense of his legislature proposal. "You should err on the side of caution."

Claiming that there have been 17 confirmed sightings of Sasquatch, or multiple individuals of the "species", since 2011 alone in Chautauqua County, Wiemer confounded legislators with a great deal of documentation. Pulling in historical documentation of the first sighting from the early 19th century, all the way to plaster casts of foot impressions found to supposedly belong to Bigfoot, Wiemer was able to show that local folklore and even modern eyewitness accounts supported his argument. Though the lawmakers hearing his plea visibly rolled their eyes and covered their mouths in laughter.

Classified as a "cryptide", or a species that has not yet been scientifically identified by man or proven to exist by undeniable evidence, Bigfoot is considered by most to be a creature of legend, not a local guest in upstate New York. Though legislators commented that they would take the proposal under advisement, many publically questioned Wiemer's motives and the reasons behind the urgent cry for help, for a species that has never been found by man.

"Chautauqua County tourism would be thankful, but the bottom line is it is the right thing to do - protecting a species that is rare, possibly part human and document first here in New York State" Wiemer says. "Bigfoots are not a paranormal, not scary or troublesome, and are living among us in peace and harmony in Chautauqua County."

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