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Mysterious Mizoram Mammal Sighted

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 23rd, 2006

Mizoram is a state in northeastern India, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh, of nearly 900,000 people, with the the second highest rate of literacy (88%) among all the states of India, after Kerala. Mizaram is also the home of the mysterious Shinlung who believe themselves to be ethnically Jewish, descendants of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.

Reports out of Mizoram today are sweeping the state that giant "rat-like creatures" has been sighted there and have not been able to be captured yet.

Officials have offered cash rewards to local villagers who kill or capture alive the "big rat-like creatures" that have been stalking homes and vegetable gardens. Apparently there have been no takers to date.

"The sighting of such weird rat-like animals the size of a cat is a bad omen and signals the outbreak of a famine," Agriculture Minister H. Rammawi told the Indian media.

It is somewhat confusing as to what the identity of the animals are, as the media is stating that tribal locals "have reported sighting several big rats along with rodents, which have been invading paddy fields and vegetable gardens in the past two weeks."

"We are not sure if the big rats are actually rats or some unknown species. So we have offered cash rewards of Rs.1,000 to anybody who could get the animals dead or alive," said James Lalsianliana, an agriculture scientist with the Mizoram government.

The giant rodent-like animal has so far managed to evade traps set up by villagers.

Traditionally, in the area, invasions of rats have been tied to an indication that a famine may be on the way.

As the source article, “Rat-like Creature Triggers Famine Fears in Mizoram," May 22, 2006, in the Indian New Kerala News notes:

There is a saying in the tiny hill state bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh that when bamboo flowers, famine, death and destruction follow. Behind the superstition lies some scientific truth, as blooming bamboo can trigger an invasion of rats, which proceed to eat away food supplies.

“It is not a myth or any superstitious belief to think that bamboo flowering signals famine. It is a stark reality and we have experienced and witnessed an outbreak of famine in the past under similar circumstances,” Chief Minister Zoramthanga said.

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.


18 Responses to “Mysterious Mizoram Mammal Sighted”

  1. Chymo responds:

    Sounds like a misplaced Gambian Pouch Rat followed by a herd of smaller common rats!

    Or perhaps another specie of popular hysteria, akin to the 2001 Indian monkey man panic.

  2. swol responds:

    Quote: “The sighting of such weird rat-like animals the size of a cat is a bad omen and signals the outbreak of a famine,”

    So…I wonder if that is strictly folklore or based on previous observations by the locals. The onset of global warming and it’s related weather changes may lend creedance to this.

    Interesting in any case. The area bares continued observation, cryptid or not.

  3. Loren Coleman responds:

    I revised the posting to deal with the question of why the famine was mentioned. See above.

  4. swol responds:

    Interesting…

    I suspected that there was some such connection.

    It’s always interesting to see where folklore and scientific fact actually meet. Too many seem to think that they are opposite sides of the coin.

    Hopefully, this time the famine prediction is premature.

    Regarding the creature, do the locals have any stories or comments about what they think it is? If the creature is native to that area, albeit rarely seen, they should have some reference of it. If not, then the misplaced fauna theory gains likelyhood. If they have some history of such a creature, then a possible cryptid becomes more likely.

    Either way…interesting.

  5. Tabitca responds:

    There is a large rat called(I think) a baldicoot rat,that is the size of a small cat. They are seen in Asia.Someone more zoological than myself will probably know the correct name.
    There is some truth in folklore and it is becoming more acceptable as evidence. I saw a computer programme that pulls out the bits of stories/folklore/anecdotes that are relevant to your theory, so you can cite them. They may not be seen as fact but they have historical origins.

  6. lamarkable responds:

    As global warming continues,thse unfortunate extremes of weather will present opportunties in the potental migration of cryptids.. I was surprised to learn of the rapidity of warming in Tibet and the receding of glaciers at a rate of 7% annually. In only two decades, the average temerature has risen two degrees. It occurred to me that perhaps, remains of Yeti might be found as snow and ice melt away, or perhaps in glacier fed stream beds..Has there been any coinciding increase in the states between forest fires and sightings?

  7. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Metad, Bandicoot, Molerat? I reckon (Bandicota indica) the bandicoot is the best bet, they grow up to 100cm nose to tail!.

  8. Ranatemporaria responds:

    …or perhaps a closley related undecribed recorded relative, flushed out, or, better adapted to the reduced food levels. Interspecific (between species) competiton for food would mean larger/stronger organisms would be favoured by natural selection. Hence reduced food = outbreak of larger than average organisms?

  9. twblack responds:

    Keep us updated on this maybe they will catch one and we can find out if it is something new or not. One more place my wife would not be caught dead in.

  10. Tabitca responds:

    I like rats.We used to use them in psychology to teach students about learning.Mine was called Fred.Sadly Fred got banned after he escaped one day and ran up the security man’s leg.
    There is a temple in India where they worship rats.

  11. Ole Bub responds:

    “You must have some very large rats to need Hatori Hanzo steel”….”Huge”…replied the Bride…

    Protein is where ya find it…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  12. Sardokar responds:

    Maybe it’s a mutation resulting of the Bhopal tragedy.Bhopal is almost in direct line with the northeastern border so with dominants winds in that direction, maybe it’s fair to say that this region were contaminated as well.

    Just a thought.

  13. CryptoInformant responds:

    Odd… Any recent news on the Buru? I am compiling a list of CICZ Best Bets, and recent news would bump the Buru onto that list.

  14. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    hmmmm, I’m interested in why the flowering of bamboo results in rat invasions.
    How often does bamboo flower? I know they have groves of it at the Casa de Luz here in Austin, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them “flower”.

  15. Tabitca responds:

    This link explains about the significance of the flowering bamboo and the rats, and the famine that resulted last time it happened.
    Bamboo tends to flower in clumps but it can be anything from 10 years to once a century for it to do so.

  16. Mnynames responds:

    I’m assuming the rats eat the bamboo flowers and prosper, becoming more numerous, then move into human communities once the flower supplies run dry. Seems straightforward enough…

  17. Mnynames responds:

    It will be interesting to see if this develops along more prosaic CZ lines, or if it is but the seed of another bizarre entity event, a la Monkey Man…

  18. Sundancer responds:

    How come I’ve never heard of these creatures before? And I should, considering the fact that I was born and brought up in Mizoram! The bamboo flowering phenomenon, the rats and the famine..yeah, we used to hear about that in school. But “giant rat-like creatures”??? That’s a first! Called up some of my friends and none of them have heard of them before either.



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