NY town proclaims Bigfoot its official animal. ‘It can’t hurt,’ town official says.

No one has ever proven a Bigfoot exists, but that isn’t stopping one small town from proclaiming the ape-like monster its “official animal.”

Whitehall village, in upstate New York, passed the resolution 4-0 and it also requires citizens to observe a Bigfoot “Appreciation Day” in September, reported the Albany Times Union. The resolution refers to the mythical creature by its more formal name: Sasquatch.

One former town board member dubbed the unorthodox vote a “good publicity” move, The Whitehall News reported.

“It can’t hurt,” village trustee George Armstrong told the newspaper.

Belief in the existence of Bigfoot is based largely on circumstantial evidence, including eyewitness accounts, blurry photographs and mysterious footprints. Scientists insist the sightings are often misidentifications of other animals.

New York isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of Bigfoot sightings of late, but TV station WTEN explains several sightings did occur in the 1970s. Whitehall seized on the publicity and now has multiple Bigfoot statues and an annual Sasquatch festival, WTEN reports.

The town’s biggest claim to fame is a 1976 incident in which three people reported seeing “a large, ape-like creature between 7-feet and 8-feet tall, darting toward their car,” according to

North Carolina had a reported sighting of its own last August in McDowell County, by a team from the Marion-based amateur research group Bigfoot 911.

The sighting reportedly occurred just before 11 p.m. on a Friday, in a forested area 100 miles northwest of Charlotte.

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John Bruner of Bigfoot 911 said he saw a “large bipedal animal covered in hair” in the glare of his flash light.

“Its face was solid black, no hair on it. The hair looked shaggy all over,” he told the The Charlotte Observer days later.

McDowell County is now planning its own Bigfoot Festival in downtown Marion in September.

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Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs