MACCLENNY, Fla. (AP) – Whether the mystery critter roaming northern Florida is an orangutan, a “baby Bigfoot” or something else, wildlife officials think it might have a bit of Homer Simpson in it.

After a bear hunter said an animal that could be an orangutan stole jelly doughnuts from him, a wildlife investigator has tried to use sweet treats to lure the creature into the open in Baker County.

There have been several sightings of what witnesses have described as a “big orange ball of fur,” though officials have yet to confirm it’s an orangutan, said Karen Parker, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Fish and wildlife investigator Ken Holmes laid doughnuts at the base of a tree in hopes of catching the animal, but it eluded him.

It’s illegal to own an orangutan in Florida without a commercial permit, and none are registered in the area, Holmes said. The closest zoo is in Jacksonville, about 30 miles east, but it hasn’t reported any missing animals.

Some residents think the animal is a spider monkey or even a squirrel. Holmes said he also got a call from a Bigfoot research group asking about it.

“I can’t confirm that it wasn’t Bigfoot,” he said. “That’s one possibility. It’s just not a possibility I’m exploring.”

AP-ES-11-15-07 1520EST

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