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"Slothfoot", a mysterious cryptid said to resemble prehistoric ground sloths, has been sighted across North America from Canada to Mexico. On March 10, 1797, Thomas Jefferson presented a paper on the bones of a creature he named Megalonyx ("giant claw"). He asked Lewis and Clark, as they planned their famous expedition in 1804–1806, to keep an eye out for living specimens. Today, Megalonyx, the North American giant ground sloth, is West Virginia's state fossil.  

Beast of Boonville (1936-1937)[]

Main article: Beast of Boonville

The Beast of Boonville was a giant sloth reported from Boonville, Indiana in the United States in 1936 and 1937. The creature allegedly originated in Mexico.

The first report of the animal came in 1936, when fisherman Ralph Duff reported that a large hairy animal had torn his dog to shreds. Duff's wife saw the animal, which ran off when she screamed, and said that it was a "towering monster larger than a bear". Ralph Duff believed it was an ape, and set up bear traps along the river to catch it.

Megal

On 13 August the following year, Mrs. Duff again saw the animal, which she compared to a giant ape. After that date, residents of Boonville reported hearing "blood-curdling shrieks and yells". Posses began searching the river bottoms cautiously in the hope of tracking the beast to its lair. A police dog was reportedly mauled "so bad it had to be shot".

Scream On 18 August a man entered the Boonville newspaper office and declared that the animal was a giant sloth which he and his uncle had captured during an expedition to Mexico two years previously.

"Giant squirrels"[]

In the folklore of the the Micmac Indians of Nova Scotia, Canada, "giant squirrels" used to descend upon the villages and eat the bark wigwams or teepees. Although they never harmed people, they were a nuisance to the Micmacs because they destroyed their houses. Eventually the squirrels disappeared, and the Micmac's homes were left alone.

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Ben S. Roesch suggests that the stories referred to living ground sloths, which ate bark and other vegetation, and had long hairy tails. If so, they must have survived in this area until medieval times, as it is believed that the Micmac's legends occur no further back in history than around 500 B.C.

Beasts of Sherman (1960's)[]

Main article: Beasts of Sherman

In a letter to paranormal investigator John Keel, a teenage boy in New York State claimed to have seen huge, white-furred animals which he claimed where "almost a double for a Prehistoric Sloth" on several occasions since 1965 or 1966. According to the boy, they were also seen by members of his family and at least two other men.

Yukon Beaver Eater (1989)[]

Main article: Yukon Beaver Eater

The saytoechin is a cryptid reported from the Yukon in Canada, described as a large, dangerous animal which has been likened to a giant ground sloth. Sightings of the creatures occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s. When shown a book of prehistoric animals, natives chose a giant ground sloth as the closest look-a-like to the beaver eater.

Appalachian ground sloth (2002-2011)[]

The Appalachian ground sloth is a cryptid reported from Georgia and Kentucky in the United States. Blogger Arclein connects the animal with a 2002 Florida sighting of what the eyewitness believed was a skunk ape. Whilst driving through an area of swamp, an animal ran across the road which she said looked like a giant sloth, except it was running quickly. It galloped on all fours like a dog, but when it jumped the arms came up, and she saw that it was not a bear.

In 2011 a man named Henry claimed he:

"caught sight of a large animal moving through the cypress trees of the swampy area that borders one of the fields I work. I live in Ware County, Georgia. I was working the field at the time and noticed the movement. It was late afternoon and still light out. The animal was huge, hairy and walked on all fours but I did see it rear up once. It reminded me of a black bear but much larger and lighter in color. I was about 200 yds. away from it but I still had a good look. I know for a fact that this was not a bear. I've seen black bears in the Okefenokee and this didn't look like one of those at all. I later saw a picture of an animal, a mapinguari, that is supposed to be a legend. I swear that is what I saw. Have you heard of this animal? I haven't seen it since but there have been a lot of cypress trees tore up lately and I'm wondering if it has been causing it. Some people have said for many years that there's a swamp beast in Ware County but I never paid it no mind until now."

Virginia Slothfoot (2013)[]

The Virginia Slothfoot was caught on a trail camera by hunter Roger Williams on 18 July 2013, and was suggested to be a sasquatch, as it appeared to have fingers.

Williams himself believed it to be a juvenile bear with a skin disease. He noted that he had hunted in the area for some time, and never found a trace of any unknown animals. Jay Clooney and the Finding Bigfoot team both agree, noting the lack of any ape-like features on the animal.

The Journal of the Bizarre blog suggested the animal was a ground sloth. They believe that what appears to be the animals left hind leg is in fact a long tail. They also believe that many wood ape sightings can be explained by relict ground sloths.

Ruby Valley Beasts (2013)[]

Main article: Ruby Valley Beasts

In 2013, a user on 4chan's /x/ board claimed to have encountered "Slothmen" in an abandoned mine in the Ruby Valley region of Nevada. He thought they resembled either ground sloths or dogmen. Notably, after a historical plane crash in the area, bodies of dead people were found neatly layed out, which does not sound like the behaviour of a normal animal like a sloth.

Sources[]

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