“If Bigfoot really exists, why does he stay hidden? Why not show himself?” a friend asked me recently. We were discussing the premise of my new novel Bigfoot CSI, which is about a teenage girl whose job is to destroy the bodies of dead Bigfoot so they won’t be discovered by humans.
My response to the question was simply that interaction with humans tends to go badly for animals of all sorts. Even creatures like gorillas that look like hairy humans get shot, locked in cages, and experimented on. What sensible Bigfoot would want to sign up for that? My friend didn’t think I was giving humans enough credit and disagreed with my negative assessment of how we treat the creatures we share the Earth with.
A few days after the conversation, I saw this article about a loose African warthog was spotted running around Port St. Lucie, Florida. Apparently, a warthog—which had probably belonged to a local resident because it was friendly—was roaming the area. It took some time, but wildlife officials finally caught it. It’s unclear why that was necessary. It was living in Florida, for goodness’ sake! It’s warm enough for a warthog to survive, there are already alligators and massive snakes, and if you’ve ever been to Key West. you know that an African warthog isn’t the strangest mammal they’ve got down there.
Once they caught the poor pig, they promptly killed it. “Euthanize” is the word used in one article. That word suggests putting a creature out of its misery for humane reasons. There was no reason to believe this pig was in any misery. He acted tame and friendly. The wildlife officials claimed to be concerned about disease transmission since they didn’t know where he had come from. If they didn’t want to have him running the streets, then why not put him in a zoo? Or turn him over to ICE so they could deport him back to Africa? He was Pumba from the Lion King! How can you murder Pumba?
This incident was the perfect support for my argument that interaction with humans is never a good thing for wild creatures. Why would Bigfoot refuse to show himself? Because wildlife officials could pretend they’re worried about diseases he might have, so it would be safer to just kill him. Then they would study his body, which is what another article reported they did with the poor warthog.
That warthog wasn’t bothering anyone, just blending in with the other wild, hairy, naked things in Florida, yet he had to be killed and cut open to satisfy some scientists’ curiosity. Tragic.
You stay hidden, Bigfoot! And be careful in Florida because you’re probably not the biggest, hairiest, weirdest thing in the Sunshine State.