The wildlife biologist has been on the trail of the legendary --
many would argue mythical -- ape-like creature ever since he found a pair of 38-centimetre
long footprints in a Vancouver Island park.
That's bigger than some of the biggest feet in
the National Basketball Association.
Bindernagel, 57, is convinced the Sasquatch, also
known as Bigfoot, is real and he's on a mission to turn the mystery surrounding the
animal's existence into a science project.
When people tell Bindernagel about the big hairy
beast they saw in the woods, he doesn't brush them off, he pulls out his notebook.
"I have no reason not to accept the
reports," he said. "My language is the evidence is sufficient."
Bindernagel, who studied at the University of
Guelph and has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin, said the Sasquatch deserves serious
"The wildlife biologists should be taking
this seriously," Bindernagel told about 200 people who recently attended a Sasquatch
meeting at the University of Victoria just days after reports a sighting of the beast was
"There is another option to a bear on its
hind legs. The option is North America's great ape."
Bindernagel said he corresponds with other
scientists about his Sasquatch research, but it appears he hasn't had much luck with the
academics close to home.
"It doesn't interest me," said Lisa
Gould, a University of Victoria primatologist and the only one of several scientists
contacted who would comment at all.
Bindernagel, who lives in Courtenay, about 200
kilometres northwest of Victoria, has spent the last two years writing a book about the
North America's Great Ape: The Sasquatch
documents Bindernagel's field work, including his discovery in 1988 of tracks in
Strathcona Provincial Park.
The book contains drawings by people who believe
they've seen the animal.
The mostly crude-looking drawings all depict a
similar creature. It's about seven feet tall, stands on two feet, has long arms, broad
shoulders, a flat face, short neck and it's hairy.
Bindernagel said the drawings portray the elusive
Sasquatch. They are not bears. Bears, when standing erect, have slim shoulders, shorter
arms and a pointed snout.
"This is not a bear," he said.
"The fingers are the size of bananas or Oktoberfest sausages. One B.C. prospector
said the hands were as large as canoe paddles."
Bindernagel said he has documented 380 cases of
Sasquatch encounters in British Columbia and has heard about similar animals in Manitoba
and Florida, where people report seeing a skunk ape.
He said there are enough photographs and plaster
casts of Sasquatch footprints to begin including the beast in legitimate animal tracking
Bindernagel rejects reports last week that a 1967
film of a Sasquatch retreating into the California forest is that of a man in a monkey
"The whole issue of the Sasquatch, whether
it exists, is well beyond that film," he said. "We've got so much other
It's only a matter of time before a Sasquatch
ends up as road kill or somebody shoots one or provides film evidence, Bindernagel said.
"I'm kind of hung up on this, that's
fine," he said.