There are stories of a strange creature prowling the foothills of Fresno County, of a strange creature with long grey mangy hair and the face of an ape or baboon and has both human like hands and feet. It always appears to be sick, coughing and foaming at the mouth. Legend calls it the Devil Ape or Devil Fang, but lately it has gone by the name of Watts Valley Wolf Ape as it has been seen near the Watts Valley Cemetery.
There are stories aplenty of the Wolf Ape, that the first Native Americans that came over the Bearing Straight co-existed with the creature and that there are even drawings of strange creatures that traveled with the Native Americans. When the Europeans came they found these odd drawings, but no signs of the Wolf Ape.
There is a story that legendary photographer Ansel Adams was taking pictures in Yosemite one day when a pack of Wolf Apes came upon him while he was in his tent and he had to stay there for safety.
An even more peculiar story is that of a Wolf Ape entering a single room school house one day and terrorizing the students and teacher. The children piled up their desks together and climbed up to the safety of the rafters while the teacher was able to lock himself into a closet. The Wolf Ape tore through the children’s desks to get at their lunches. Finally after getting it’s fill it left.
Yet another odd story describes a preacher shot a Wolf Ape back in the 1950’s claiming it to be a “pet” of Satan. He hung it up on the church walls and the story claims the animal to be at least ten feet long. Apparently the preacher got into a bit of trouble as the Wolf Ape continue to hang on the church for several weeks, and understandably the place begin to smell foul. So the preacher sold it to a traveling circus freak show and with the money he made off of it he traveled up to San Francisco with the dream of starting his own church up there. He was murdered soon after and his body was so badly mutilated that it took several months to identify the body. Whispers of a curse of the Wolf Ape was the cause of the preacher’s death.
Things were quiet for a while, but around the mid 1990’s a Wolf Ape was seen at Bass Lake (which is in Madera County) drinking water from the small lake. Interesting enough, people mistook it for a hairy man who happened to walk on all fours.
The most recent and detailed story was recanted on a local Fresno radio station. There were two witnesses, a man and his uncle, who were hunting for garnets near Watts Valley Cemetery when a Wolf Ape came out of the bushes. The creature was described as six foot long grey haired mangy dog with a face like a baboon whose eyes were flat on its face like a human’s. It opened its mouth but only a moan escaped its widening maw and then made a strange sound like a cough. Both witnesses began to run from the creature as it began to chase them. The man threw his lunch at the creature but this only stopped him momentarily. It continued to stalk them over the hills and the two witnesses hopped over fences and ran through pastures trying to escape the creature. Cows fled as it chased the two men. Finally they found themselves in the Watts Valley Cemetery and hid behind some tombstones, hoping to lose the beast. Unfortunately it caught their scent and started to come towards them when, in a moment of genius, the uncle threw some cinnamon flavored chewing gum near the beast hoping the scent would distract it. It worked and the beast was momentarily occupied. Soon after that a caretaker for the small cemetery arrived and offered to give the two men a ride back to their car several miles away. All three watched the strange creature for a few more minutes in the safety of the caretaker’s truck before it went away.
Not much is known about this creature. Theories from failed genetic experiments escaping to another type of Bigfoot have been discussed. Whatever it may be, it seems to be sick and if cornered this makes it a dangerous animal.
Note: I had posted this on a wordpress blog I had done years ago, but am reposting it here.