OLYMPIA, Wash. - A new bill seeks to designate Sasquatch as the "official cryptid" of Washington state.
A cryptid is defined by Oxford dictionary as an "animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated."
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Ann Rivers of La Center, was introduced this week, after "Caleb," a boy in River's legislative district, wrote a letter suggesting the official status of Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot or Forest Yeti.
"I L.O.V.E. science and watching YouTube videos about Bigfoot. Washington state is the leader in Bigfoot sightings," wrote the third-grader. "I have started an online petition with my dad and grandpa asking people to sign to make Bigfoot our state's cryptid."
Rivers' couldn't resist the opportunity for a teaching moment. The result was State Bill 5816, which recognizes Sasquatch's "immeasurable contributions to Washington state's cultural heritage and ecosystem" and the "importance of preserving the legacy of Sasquatch."
"When our two sons were little they were fascinated with Sasquatch. The letter I received from my young constituent made it clear that children are still captivated by Sasquatch, or Bigfoot," Rivers said in a released statement. "Why not encourage a young person who has engaged with his government and at the same time give some formal recognition to this unique part of our state's folklore?
"I am certain that Sasquatch, the most eminent and recognizable cryptid in North America, is a native Washingtonian. And being an official state symbol has to be a big step up from being in television commercials for beef jerky."
© 2017 Associated Press