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DT: Nandi Bear

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 10th, 2010

The first program of the 4th season of Josh Gate’s “Destination Truth” started this week.  The DT team was in Africa to track down a cryptid labeled the Nandi Bear. Locals say it combines the features of a giant baboon, a bear and a hyena, which allegedly kills humans.  Gates and his mates tramp all over a deadly rainforest and nearly fall over the edge of a waterfall looking for the difficult-to-locate Nandi Bear.

See the episode, 4:1, here.

What did Cryptomundians think of the episode?

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


15 Responses to “DT: Nandi Bear”

  1. sasquatch responds:

    Are you telling me that all these reports and native accounts and time has gone by and Josh discovered in one night that it’s just a hyena? Pssshhhh.

  2. parrotheadkrm responds:

    I think 85% of cryptozoology is misidentification. I think its very possible that Josh Gates and the DT team got it right. We hearing the descriptions of this Nandi Bear, it really sound like something out of a comic book, not an African Jungle.

  3. Mr. Elekom responds:

    I think that it’s unlikely that it is a hyena or, if it is it must be an old or mutant one that would have the hump on the back. The Nandi tribal people know about the local animals and so if it were a hyena I’m sure they would know. That’s my opinion not like it means much. I also think that they should clean up their language to many beeps. But that is me.

  4. Ken Rucker responds:

    I do watch DT for the entertainment value, but it’s the usual TV fluff. The way they always go crashing through the woods making enough noise to scare away anything that may be there, and the way they come roaring into a location, stay one night and expect to solve the mystery, are a little much. But it’s fun to watch.
    I read an article about a year ago by a gentleman named Angus Hutton who shot a Nandi Bear in 1960 in Kenya, took 35mm slides of the body and preserved the skeleton. He sent the skeleton and slides to Dr. Louis Leakey, who declared it to be the rare brown hyena, although these are found in southern Africa and not Kenya. Mr. Hutton also corresponded with Jane Goodall, who also felt it was a brown hyena, from the descriptions given.
    Dr. Leakey sent the slides and skeleton on to the British Museum of Natural History – but of course, these disappeared somewhere between Mombasa and London.
    Was it a real Nandi Bear or not? I don’t know.

  5. springheeledjack responds:

    Ah, where to begin…

    Yeah. Since hyenas roam the area AND since Josh and his “crack team” got one on camera in only a night, I’m of the mind that the Nandi people are familiar with hyenas and know the difference. Go figure.

    Spending one night in a forested area looking for a creature nobody has been able to get anything on is about as possible as Josh getting a vehicle that’s in good shape…that or winning the lottery.

    The real thing with DT is that the ghost stuff is the hot thing right now, and a few vague noises and an odd blob on the thermal generates more drawing power on the viewer than trudging through the woods at night (we’ve been over this a hundred times, so I won’t do it again) looking for some critter.

    Still…there is the appeal for me with DT…someday I might…just might…get to see Josh drug off into the woods by some cryptid…keep at it buddy!

    I’ve got nothin’ but love for ya!

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    Of course, the obvious question for DT and any like-minded sensationalistic journeys into the bush, why do they not employ more local guides and local animal collectors to go with them into the wild? A local would be able to quickly id the extant and known species and less time would be spent on wild goose chases and being scared. For example, in New Zealand, why won’t you take along a local field biologist with you?

    But then that would not be good TV to have someone who really knew what that animal seen in the distance really is, would it?

  7. MrInspector responds:

    Did anyone think to ask the locals what they call hyena?

  8. Cryptidcrazy responds:

    I have been a huge fan of the show, since the beginning. Despite that, I can honestly say I was disappointed. Part of the show’s success was due to the chemistry of the team. This is one instance where the constant turnover of the investigators has hurt the show. While they didn’t always find what they were looking for, the show remained entertaining, in part, due to the relationship between Josh and his “leading ladies”. With Jael, there was a sexual tension. I found it humorous the way he followed her around like a puppy dog, trying to make her laugh. With Ryder, there was a brother and sister dynamic where they were constantly goading each other in a friendly manner and it too, was very entertaining. With the new girl, Aly….there is nothing. It’s like some stranger he met in an elevator. The humor is gone, the tension is gone, the interest is gone.

  9. Cryptidcrazy responds:

    After reading all of the descriptions of the Nandi Bear, I believe it is a striped hyena. I wish the DT team would have asked the tribe members if they knew the difference between a spotted hyena and a striped hyena. If they didn’t that could explain things. Striped hyenas have a shaggier coat too. If they had never seen one, they could think it is an entirely different species.

  10. coelacanth1938 responds:

    I just can’t watch this show. Anything that SyFy does should be regarded as candyfloss.

  11. springheeledjack responds:

    And nobody’s really pointed out how much time they spend goofing off in town (on screen–I don’t even want to know how much time they fritter away off camera), instead of actually hunting that which they came to investigate in the first place.

    On the Nandi bear front, I think they took a quick out in calling it a hyena without actually doing any investigating (I’m not sure I call what they do is investigating most of the time).

    HOWEVER, I do like they’re base camp approach with rings of cameras, and sensors…no on the other hand, they never seem to get much…but I won’t belabor that. At least that tactic inspires me.

  12. Cryptidcrazy responds:

    You cannot watch DT, expecting it to be “Monsterquest”. DT is more for entertainment purposes than it is for actual investigations, but the Nandi Bear episode failed on both fronts. There will probably never be another “Monsterquest”, but what ultimately killed that show, was that they veered away from the cryptid formula and started investigating sharks, giant squid, killer bees, feral dogs and other animals we already knew existed. Those episodes weren’t worth watching, because they had nothing to do with cryptids. Instead, they should have been investigating the Skrimsl, the Heavenly Lake Monster, Nahuelito and other cryptids that they never got to. I miss that show!

  13. wolfatrest responds:

    I was disappointed in this episode. Even the 3-D model they came up with looked like a giant hyena as seen through the distortion of fear of being eaten alive. I’ve always wondered how many of these native people are cracking up at how gullible outsiders are to come in and spend money chasing whatever freak they decide to make up for them. We’ve all seen how things get distorted by retelling stories, this was probably an unusually large hyena or a species they’d never seen before that just grew into a monster over the years from simple exaggeration. The show has potential but they really need to be a little more thorough in their investigation.

  14. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    I always enjoy DT. A few comments about the show.

    1. The cast turnover. Josh’s “Leading Ladies” have other commitments which is why they are not always there. Jael is now a regular cast member of FACT OR FAKED among other things and Ryder is a producer in her own right and has her own projects but don’t be too surprised if either or both turn up again as time allows since both really enjoy working on the show.

    As for the time spent in investigation…what you SEE amounts to one night (what with editing and so on) the research and interviews of witnesses/experts may not always make it into the final product. Much in the way that FACT OR FAKED interviewed Center for Fortean Zoology Founder Jon Downes for their “Beast of Dartmoor episode entitled “Predator”.

    In Jon’s words “They interviewed me for about 45 minutes and then promptly cut out the bits where I told them I thought it was a wild boar, but never mind.”

    TV is TV and not even MonsterQuest (now cancelled) is above criticism but I think they all do the best they can within the parameters they have to adhere to.

    As for the Nandi Bear…yeah, I think they nailed it. While I don’t doubt that the locals would know a hyena when they saw one under NORMAL circumstances…if they spot something under cover of darkness where they’re already half expecting to see this legendary beastie of theirs their eyes might be fooled.

    That’s very human….

  15. Krimeg responds:

    Another very possible candidate for the Nandi bear: a recent relative of Ekorus.



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