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.
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.