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DATE: Not sure
COUNTY: Graham County
LOCATION DETAILS: Southwest foothills of Pinaleno Mts--locally known as Mt Graham--nearest town being Fort Grant Military Prison. Graham County, Arizona. Nearest road is AZ Rte 266, 35 plus miles from US I-10.
NEAREST TOWN: Fort Grant Military Prison
NEAREST ROAD: AZ Rte 266, 35 plus miles from US I-10
OBSERVED: Incident occurred on an old ranch approximately 50 years ago--i.e. around 1950--and was related to us by a native of Safford, AZ who said she and other people have heard the story all their lives, but as usual people joke about it--but the rancher who claimed to have had the sighting was very serious about it, and he said it was no joke and he would get angry when people would joke about it.
The rancher was riding the range of his ranch on horseback checking on his cattle herd, and he saw a large, dark brown furry, upright creature walking on two legs that "was not a bear". He said he has seen bears his entire life up there on the range and insisted "this was not a bear." He said that when the creature was aware that the rancher had spotted him/her it turned and ran uphill up a steep tree-lined canyon.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing known.
ENVIRONMENT: The area is a wilderness area at the base of a very large and wild mountain range rising 11,000 feet from the Sonoran Desert Floor to an alpine environment with old growth evergreen forest with microclimate areas similar to NW rain forests.Lots of steep inaccessible canyons with natural caves and year-round water.
Lower foothills 4-5,000 feet elevation. Rocky hills with juniper, scrub oak and grasses in an area that dramatically rises to alpine forest. Many creeks and inaccessible very steep tree-lined rocky cantons.