So says Canadian MP Mike Lake who has called for Bigfoot to be protected under Canada's species at risk act, alongside Whooping Cranes, Blue Whales, and Red Mulberry trees.
"The debate over their (Bigfoot's) existence is moot in the circumstance of their tenuous hold on merely existing," reads a petition presented by Lake to parliament in March and due to be discussed next week.
"Therefore, the petitioners request the House of Commons to establish immediate, comprehensive legislation to affect immediate protection of Bigfoot," says the petition signed by almost 500 of Lake's constituents in Edmonton, Alberta.
A similar appeal has been made to the US Congress.
Down through history, there have been numerous, if unsubstantiated sightings of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch in North American folklore.
The beast is said to inhabit remote forests, mainly in the US Pacific northwest and western Canada, and many believe it could be related to the equally mythical Yeti said to have found its home in Tibet and Nepal.
While sometimes described as large, hairy bipedal hominoids, Bigfoot are considered by most experts to be a combination of folklore and hoaxes.
But the legend remains strong, and Bigfoot researcher Todd Standing, who was behind the petition, claims to have proof of its existence, and says he fears for its safety.
"When I get species protection for them nationwide, I will make my findings public and I will take this out of the realm of mythology. Bigfoot is real," Standing told Global National television news.
He said he has 12 seconds of video footage of Bigfoot roaming Canada's western Rocky Mountains included in a 30-minute documentary, but his detractors say it was staged with actors.
His supporters hail from Canada's westernmost provinces, but Bigfoot sightings have been reported across the country, which is 90 percent uninhabited.
There are currently 516 plant and animal species at risk in Canada, according to Environment Canada. Another 13 species are already extinct.
fe2.news.re3.yahoo.com/s/afp/...t_070502173737 (external - login to view)