Local News

The Swamp Thing of Ottine: Your Friendly Neighborhood Bigfoot

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Tony Maples Photography


Yeti. Bigfoot. Sasquatch. The legends of bipedal apelike creatures abound all over the world. Texas itself has a bevy of stories regarding Bigfoot sightings. Most of these stories and claims are contained to the region behind the pine curtain in East Texas, or the swamps and forests of the South East Texas coast. But did you know that South Central Texas, a few miles outside the foothills of the Hill Country, may harbor it’s own legendary cryptid?

Photo: Facebook/Palmetto State Park – Texas Parks and Wildlife

Enter Ottine swamp. Ottine is a small town about 60 miles east of San Antonio and 15 miles north of Gonzales. One of the main entryways to Ottine is the acclaimed Palmetto State Park.  The area itself is an anomaly, much like the alleged “Swamp Thing” as the cryptid beast is named by locals.

While on the edge of the South Texas Plain and just a smidge outside of the Hill Country, you would expect the flattening land to be ripe for pasturing livestock, yet smack dab in the middle of great pasture land and oak forests is a swamp. Parts of Ottine and Palmetto State Park more often resemble a primordial rainforest boasting flora and fauna that more likely would be found in the Florida Everglades or the Louisiana gator country.

Sasquatch, the man.
Photo: Flickr/steve baxter

It is here that locals and travelers alike claim to have encountered “Bigfoot” or some type of ape-like creature. Cryptozoologists claim that the habitat matches that of areas where many other “Bigfoot” and cryptid sightings have occurred.

Those who claim to have seen the Swamp Thing state that the creature is 4-8 feet tall and covered in fur that is some combination of brown, black, and grey. All reported sightings have suggested that the creature walks upright on two legs like a human. Some locals claim there are multiple “Swamp Things” and they can be heard calling or signaling to each other during the night.

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