Mysterious creature spotted lurking near a hiking trail

A mysterious, ape-like creature was caught on video lurking the foothills near a hiking trail in La Crescenta, California.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking into the bizarre sighting Jake Gardiner, who works near the area, recorded last week.

"At first, I heard a bunch of strange noises in the trees. Figured it was just some types of bird or something like that," Gardiner told KTLA.

He said an uneasiness came over him, as if he was being watched, so he pulled out his phone and started recording. After looking over the footage twice, he finally noticed something.

"You can definitely see a torso and four limbs moving around and swinging around," Gardiner told the station. "It's a pretty obvious kind of motion."

Officials from the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife don't even know what's going on for sure, but they have an idea.

"We think that it's a pretty good possibility that it is some kind of ape," Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the department, told KTLA.

If that's true, it could be a serious safety concern.

"These animals are incredibly strong. And they can very easily kill or seriously injure a person because -- if it turns out to be an ape -- this animal is scared, hungry, out of its element," Hughan told KTLA.

It's possible that someone illegally kept the ape as a pet at some point.

"Now, that's not great, but what happens is the animals can get out of control and they either escape or they get too unruly and the owners just let them go," Hughan said.

Officials say there is no reason to be alarmed, but they are warning people not to go looking for the creature.