Louisiana - Slidell: Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tours - El Guapo
Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tours in Slidell has been providing narrated nature boat tours into the 250-square-mile Honey Island Swamp since 1982.
The Honey Island Swamp, or Marais de l'Île-de-Miel in French, is bordered on the north by US 90, on the south by Lake Borgne, on the east by the Pearl River, and on the west by the West Pearl River. It is one of the least-altered river swampland habitats in the United States, covering an area that is over 20 miles long, and nearly 7 miles wide, with 34,896 of its 70,000 acres government sanctioned as permanently protected wildlife area. Owing its name to honeybees once seen on the nearby island, which is actually a tract of of timber lying between the two rivers. Resident and migratory wildlife around the swamp include alligators, bald eagles, waterfowl, herons, egrets, ibis, owls, osprey, deer, feral hogs, nutria, raccoon, otter, beaver, mink, turtles, frogs. The swamp is also home to the legendary Honey Island Swamp monster, also known as the Tainted Keitre, a bipedal, seven foot tall, gray haired, yellow eyed "Big Foot" like creature. Local legend traces its origin to a train crash where a group of chimpanzees escaped from a travelling circus and interbred with the local alligator population. The first claimed sighting was in 1963 by Harlan Ford, a retired Air traffic controller and wildlife photography enthusiast. In 1974 the monster gained national fame after Ford and a friend claimed to have found unusual footprints in the area, as well as the body of a wild boar whose throat had been gashed. Ford continued to hunt the creature for the next six years until his death in 1980, when a reel of Super 8 film showing the creature was allegedly found among his belongings.