A man talking a walk through a wooded area during his lunch break seemingly filmed a mystery creature that one wildlife official said could be an ape!
As he was strolling along a hiking trail near his job in the community of La Crescenta near Los Angeles, Jake Gardiner sensed that something was amiss when he heard a series of strange noises and felt like he was being watched.
Thinking quickly, he pulled out his cell phone and began filming the area while trying to figure out what he was experiencing.
When Gardiner later checked the rather grainy footage, he was amazed to see what appears to be some kind of creature lurking in the trees.
"You can definitely see a torso and four limbs moving around and swinging around," he marveled to KTLA, "It's a pretty obvious kind of motion."
Although it might be easy to dismiss Gardiner's tale as merely a fanciful misidentification, wildlife officials are taking his story seriously and have a 'wild' theory as to what he filmed.
"We think that it's a pretty good possibility that it is some kind of ape," Andrew Hughan of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told the TV station.
If it is an ape, he said, it's likely to be very strong and extremely dangerous since it is no doubt hungry, frightened, and confused.
As to how an ape wound up in the area, Hughan theorized that it could be someone's illegal pet that managed to escape or was intentionally released by an overwhelmed owner and is now roaming the forests around Los Angeles.
Despite telling residents that they need not worry about encountering the potential ape, authorities also advised that people should not go searching for the creature either, since their encounter may not be as peaceful as Gardiner's had been.