The Dodu: Man Beast of Cameroon – Africa’s Own Sasquatch Part III

Posted by: John Kirk on April 19th, 2006

The Dodu: Man Beast of Cameroon – Africa’s Own Sasquatch Part III

While on a Mokele-mbembe safari in Cameroon in 2001, myself, Rob Mullin, Scott Norman and Bill Gibbons took time off from looking for Mokele-mbembe to enquire about a local man beast known as the Dodu.

One afternoon as we stood on the shores of a Cameroonian river just a few kilometres from the border with the Republic of Congo, we were surprised by the reaction of a group of Bantus who had looked at a picture of a Kalenoro from the island of Madagascar as featured in Loren Coleman’s The Field Guide to Yeti, Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide. They had shown a great deal of fear in their reaction to the image and those of us on the Cryptosafari/BCSCC team took the opportunity to question them vigorously about what they knew about this mystery primate.

A tall youth by the name of Samuel spoke fluent French so he was able to tell me what he and the other locals knew of this animal. He confirmed what the pygmies had earlier told us about the viciousness of the animal and warned us to avoid it at all costs. I asked him if it was a type of gorilla, Samuel said it was not and that it did not like gorillas and chimpanzees in its territory. I asked him how a little animal that stands a metre tall could be strong enough to kill a gorilla with its bare three-digit hands, Samuel replied the Dodu was definitely not a mere metre in height but was at least twice that and around my own height of six feet five inches or 1.99 metres.

When questioned about whether he had ever seen a Dodu himself, Samuel told us he had indeed seen one with his own eyes and it was just the summer previously at that. The circumstances surrounding the sighting were as follows:

A group of European hunters had emerged from the bush to the west of the village to the east of our campsite. They brought with them a strange living creature which appeared to be half-man, half beast. The creature was alive and several porters carried it with a pole, its hands and feet tied in crisscross fashion as you would see a leopard or lion that has been shot would be carried.

Samuel told us that pretty much the entire population of the village, who were in the area that day, came out to see it in the local square. He estimated that perhaps four thousand people saw the creature. It was hair covered and rather unfriendly. Samuel was unable to tell us how the hunters captured the beast other than he had heard they did so while stalking other prey. Fortuitously enough, they came across this thing and the next thing you know is they decide to parade it through the largest nearby settlement.

What became of the Dodu no one knows, but Samuel’s story echoes one that Bill Gibbons heard on his first excursion to Cameroon. A pygmy elder has related that a number of years ago a Dodu had been killed and a Frenchman working for one of the timber companies in the country had bought the carcass and taken the thing back with him to his logging camp. No one knows what the Frenchman did with the corpse and it may yet still be somewhere in Cameroon.

Samuel did not know either what became of the live Dodu captured in the summer of 2000. Perhaps it is in the hands of Europeans in a remote logging camp, perhaps alive, perhaps dead. Then again, they might have taken pity on the creature Samuel said had pathetic eyes and wailed when it was carried around hanging from that accursed pole and set it free to once again roam the eternal forests of Cameroon.

One thing that is for sure is that when my colleagues and I return to Africa in search of Mokele-mbembe, we will also certainly seek the Dodu once more, and if we find it, we will not run, but shall take careful aim and then calmly shoot it …… With a camera, that is.

John Kirk About John Kirk
One of the founders of the BCSCC, John Kirk has enjoyed a varied and exciting career path. Both a print and broadcast journalist, John Kirk has in recent years been at the forefront of much of the BCSCC’s expeditions, investigations and publishing. John has been particularly interested in the phenomenon of unknown aquatic cryptids around the world and is the author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters (Key Porter Books, 1998). In addition to his interest in freshwater cryptids, John has been keenly interested in investigating the possible existence of sasquatch and other bipedal hominids of the world, and in particular, the Yeren of China. John is also chairman of the Crypto Safari organization, which specializes in sending teams of investigators to remote parts of the world to search for animals as yet unidentified by science. John travelled with a Crypto Safari team to Cameroon and northern Republic of Congo to interview witnesses among the Baka pygmies and Bantu bushmen who have sighted a large unknown animal that bears more than a superficial resemblance to a dinosaur. Since 1996, John Kirk has been editor and publisher of the BCSCC Quarterly which is the flagship publication of the BCSCC. In demand at conferences, seminars, lectures and on television and radio programs, John has spoken all over North America and has appeared in programs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, TLC, Discovery, CBC, CTV and the BBC. In his personal life John spends much time studying the histories of Scottish Clans and is himself the president of the Clan Kirk Society. John is also an avid soccer enthusiast and player.

7 Responses to “The Dodu: Man Beast of Cameroon – Africa’s Own Sasquatch Part III”

  1. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Hmmm, has anyone thought to begin scouring trophy rooms across Europe for one of these?

  2. shovethenos responds:

    There seem to be a number of accounts that indicate there might be efforts by governments and/or other groups to collect evidence of and capture, etc. cryptid primates – and some of them sound like they might have been successful. And since little is heard about the results of these efforts there might be active cover-up and disinformation campaigns. Who knows, some of them might be posting comments on sites like this one.

  3. shovethenos responds:

    Forgot to add: These efforts might explain why samples, evidence, etc. have a tendency to disappear and why conclusive evidence hasn’t been produced even with the many sightings in all but one state.

  4. Mnynames responds:

    Which state would that be?

  5. cor2879 responds:

    What do governments gain from discrediting the existence of rare primates though (be they man-like or not)

    Thanks for the article, John. I’ve been an avid follower of Bill’s work for several years now. Keep it up, I think you guys are really close to finding the elusive Mokele.

  6. czenquirer responds:

    I was interested to read the description of this animal by Bill Gibbons a while back.

    Although the dodu is referred to as being manlike it might be worth noting that the only large African mammals with three digits that could have at least reared onto their hind legs to grasp branches were chalicotheres such as ancylotherium, which survived into the Pleistocene.

    Various people have speculated on the recent survival of this animal and linked it to the East African legend of the nandi bear/chemosit although even by cryptozoological standards the evidence for this is vague.

    As most will know who read this chalicotheres were perissodactyls that are said to have resembled clawed horses. While Harry Trumbore has drawn a speculative human looking creature from Madagascar it is interesting that that people of Cameroon have recognised the drawing as the head is slightly elongate with slightly sideways pointing eyes and therefore tends towards that of a horse.

    Chalicotheres were browsers and never lived in Madagascar of course. However some ruminants have been recorded as supplementing their diet with animal protein.

    On the other hand the youth referred to as Samuel makes no suggestion that the animal he saw was anything other than some sort of primate.

    Mark Ambrus, UK

  7. shumway10973 responds:

    to give cor2879 a thoughtful answer, why would they hide the possibility of perpetual energy, which I know they have. The government is in the business of not rocking the boat unless absolutely forced to. By admitting such creatures do exist, for some reason they think that our whole society will come to a screeching halt. I think it pretty sad when evolutionists cannot say, “oh, cool, thanks for this info.” Yet a creationist like me is going, “Yes, this is awesome.” It falls under the same question as, “why are the ‘missing links’ aready proven to not be, still being taught as fact? unless they just recently took him out of the books, last I heard nebraska man was still being taught, and it was proven that the tooth (that’s all there was) belonged to a pig. For some crazy reason, the theory that should have an open door for new creatures and facts (evolution) is a tightly sealed box that can only be opened with a crow bar.

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