Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 11th, 2014
It may be the most famous one, but the long-necked moekel-mbembe, often likened to a sauropod dinosaur, is not the only mystery beast allegedly inhabiting the vast Likouala swamplands of the People’s Republic of the Congo. Less familiar but definitely no less interesting is a second major mystery beast claimed by this region’s pygmies to live here – a truly extraordinary (and exceedingly formidable) creature known to them as the emela-ntouka, or ‘killer of elephants’. The size of an elephant itself, but semi-aquatic, the emela-ntouka is said to have a long heavy tail, four sturdy legs, and, most notable of all, a very long, sharp horn borne upon its snout. On first sight, this cryptid sounds like some form of rhinoceros. However, its long heavy tail differs dramatically from the short, lightweight version possessed by all known rhino species. So too does its horn, for whereas those of rhinoceroses are nothing more than masses of compressed hair, according to native testimony the emela-ntouka’s is said to resemble the ivory tusk of an elephant. As ivory is only associated with tusks and teeth, not horns, however, it is probable that if the pygmies’ claim about it is correct, the emela-ntouka’s horn is composed of bone. Its behaviour is also very distinctive. Although wholly herbivorous, the emela-ntouka is claimed to be extremely belligerent, so much so that if even something as mighty as an elephant or buffalo enters a lake in which one of these creatures is residing, the latter will not hesitate to attack the intruder – stabbing and disembowelling its hapless victim with its formidable snout-horn.
((c) David Miller/Prof. Roy P. Mackal
Moreover, reports of creatures resembling the emela-ntouka are not confined to the Congo. The Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) also has its own counterpart, dubbed the irizima, and there are even reports from as far west as Liberia. Moreover, several notable East African lakes, including Lakes Bangweulu, Mweru, and Tanganyika, as well as the Kafue swamps, are said to be inhabited by a very comparable cryptid known as the chipekwe, which kills hippopotamuses with its horn, but does eat them. In 2005, while visiting various remote villages in Cameroon, French field cryptozoologist Michel Ballot came upon, in widely separated villages, two large wooden carvings of horned, heavy-tailed cryptids said to be the emela-ntouka. Now, I can exclusively reveal a third, wholly independent example of artwork from Africa depicting this mystery beast, originating outside Cameroon, but corresponding exactly in its depiction of the latter cryptid, thereby providing exciting corroborative evidence for its reality.
Further details can be found here on my ShukerNature blog.
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 25 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.