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Chautauqua legislators hear plea: Put Bigfoot on endangered species list

MAYVILLE – Save Sasquatch.

That was the desperate plea Chautauqua County legislators heard Wednesday from Peter Wiemer, owner of We Wan Chu Cottages on Chautauqua Lake.

Wiemer wants the legislature to become the first governmental body in the country to put Bigfoot on the endangered species list.

“You’re not going to be looked at as being crazy,” said Wiemer, who spoke during the public portion of the meeting when citizens are given a chance to address the legislature. Some of the lawmakers rolled their eyes, while others covered their mouths, perhaps to hold back their laughter.

“You should err on the side of caution,” Wiemer urged.

He claimed there have been 17 eyewitness accounts of sightings of Bigfoot – or perhaps multiple Bigfeet – since 2011 in Chautauqua County. He added that the first documented sighting in New York State was in the 1800s. To date, he claimed, there have been “over 100 sightings in New York State.”

Wiemer showed the bewildered legislators plaster casts that he said were made from a foot impression of a Bigfoot.

“Bigfoots are not a paranormal, not scary or troublesome and are living among us in peace and harmony in Chautauqua County,” he added.

He said that the Bigfoot is classified as a “cryptide,” which he defined as a species that does not have scientific evidence of existence but has been seen by people.

Wiemer, perhaps not coincidentally, is the creator of the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo, held in 2011. Also, the third annual Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo and Town Hall meeting is scheduled for this Saturday at YMCA Camp Onyahsa in Dewittville on Chautauqua Lake.

“Chautauqua County tourism would be thankful,” Wiemer said, “but the bottom line is it is the right thing to do protecting a species that is rare, possibly part human and documented first here in New York State.”