The aye-aye is a creature thought so ugly that in its native jungle superstitious villagers beat it to death - but it has become the pride and joy of Bristol Zoo.
At first keepers wanted to call this baby Gollum, after its striking resemblance to the anti-hero of The Lord of Rings, but instead decided on Kintana, which means star in Madagascar, where the aye-aye originates.
These extraordinary nocturnal creatures are so rarely seen that they were once thought to have become extinct. Numbers are uncertain and they are listed in the international "red book" of endangered species.
Bristol is only one of two zoos in the world which have bred aye-ayes successfully and hopes the lessons learned will help to ensure the species' survival.
"They do look like gremlins, and at first sight it is hard to believe they are real," said Caroline Brown, senior keeper of small mammals at the zoo's Twilight World. "Initially we were wary of getting too attached to Kintana but when he comes ... across the cage in welcome and sits in your hand it is very hard not to."
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
"Residents have been flocking to Georgina Henry's house to watch two minutes and 49 seconds of video shot by her son, Bobby Clarke, on the banks of the Nelson River shortly after dawn Saturday morning. "It's pictures of Bigfoot," she said. "It's black and it's big. Oh god, it's huge - seven or eight feet high," Henry said. "We can see him walking, and then turning to look at him (Clarke). Clarke said he was on duty at his job as a car ferry operator when he saw a "big, black figure" on the opposite bank, about 250 to 300 metres away. He grabbed his camcorder, which he said he always has with him. "It was just massive, standing tall. I'm freaked out," Clarke said Monday in an interview from the ferry at an uninhabited bush area 40 kilometres from Norway House. ... He said the creature walked upright on two legs back into the bush, barely 200 metres away from the ferry dock." -azcentral
For more, including video, sounds, photos and links to thousands of eye-witness sightings, see our Bigfoot Article.