A self-proclaimed sasquatch tracker is suing the B.C. government in the hopes of proving once and for all that the elusive forest-dwelling ape-men of folklore are real.
Todd Standing's lawsuit claims the province, in refusing to recognize the existence of sasquatches, is shirking its duty to manage the wildlife living within its borders.
"It blows my mind this species has not been acknowledged yet," Standing told CTV News. "They won't look at the evidence. That's why I must go into court and prove it, and I will prove it beyond a reasonable doubt."
Standing, who is currently promoting a new documentary called Discovering Bigfoot, claims he has an airtight case involving video, DNA samples, fingerprints and expert witness testimony.
With that evidence, Standing believes he'll be able to demonstrate the hairy, mythical creatures are roving the Pacific Northwest. His goal: to force a government biologist to accompany him into the wilderness "for a period of no less than three months" on a sasquatch hunt.
"I've done this multiple times before. I'd do it with a wildlife officer, but they refuse," Standing said.
Numerous alleged sasquatch encounters have been reported in B.C. In fact, according to the Bigfoot Encounters website, some of the earliest sightings came from the province's Toba Inlet.
But given the lack of convincing evidence and an abundance of proven frauds, sightings are generally dismissed as false impressions or hoaxes.
Standing himself has been accused of staging encounters online, but he blames much of that on envious rivals within the sasquatch-tracking community.
"Gandhi and Mother Theresa had haters," he told CTV News. "Of course I have haters. I have people that think they're competing with me because really, the sasquatch community is the sasquatch competition. They all want to be the best."
He claims to have had more than 50 encounters with sasquatches, eight of which he documented on video.
Standing's lawsuit was filed in Golden last week, and the government has 21 days to file a response at taxpayers' expense. Though Standing believes he’ll have a chance to prove sasquatches exist in court, it's likely lawyers for the province will ask the judge to throw the case out before any evidence is heard.
Asked to comment on the lawsuit Monday, Environment Minister George Heyman gave a hearty laugh in the halls of the B.C. legislature.
"I have heard about it. I'll obviously need to get further briefings on the subject of sasquatches," Heyman said before walking away. "Thank you very much."
With files from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson