How Much More Mysterious Can A Mystery Animal Get?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 22nd, 2011

Remember the Bhootbilli of India, seen in November 2010? Is this a similar story?

This cryptid story out of India last month is so mysterious, I’m not even sure what kind of mystery animal they are talking about. A vague notion is it is a cryptid feline, due to the only clue, the description of its face.

Manganam is in Kerala, which is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of southwest India. Kerala is a popular tourist destination for its backwaters, yoga, Ayurvedic treatments and tropical greenery. The Kerala’s Western Ghats are rich in wildlife (see here), including known species of Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus), Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca), Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), and grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura).

BTW, a tehsildar (mentioned in the news item) is a revenue administrative officer in India in charge of obtaining taxes from a tehsil, an administrative division of the country. In America, we would usually call someone in this role a “tax collector,” unless you live in a rural area, where you might use the term, “revenuer,” (especially tied to obtaining taxes on the illegal production and distribution of alcohol).

Here is the article, thanks to Paul Cropper:

A mysterious animal stalking local fear

KOTTAYAM: The people in Manganam apparently fear some mysterious animal would pounce on them anytime. This despite round-the-clock vigil by the locals, and the efforts by the police and Forest Department officials to assuage their apprehensions. A few days ago, it is said, the mysterious animal destroyed the cage in a house where fowls were kept.

“But till 6.30 pm on Wednesday [23 November 2011], nobody has reported spotting the animal,” said Moncy P. Alexander, the tehsildar, who is in charge of the control room set up on Wednesday [23 November 2011] after the state revenue minister ordered that it be set up. The minister visited the spot on Tuesday [22 November 2011] and led the search operations himself for a while.

Forest guard Joseph, who is heading the operations of the Forest Department, said he was not in a position to say anything about the animal since he had not seen it. “We are conducting search operations in Ashramam area in Manganam. It is said the animal destroyed the cage in a house where fowls were kept,” he said. He also said that one more cage to trap the animal would be brought here on Thursday [24 November 2011].

Vijayapuram panchayat president N Jeevakumar said the visit by the minister had brought some relief to the people. “The search operations have been stepped up after his visit,” Jeevakumar said.

There is no dearth of stories doing the rounds here about the animal.

“Those who have seen the animal say it has got the face of a cat and a long body,” Jeevakumar said. He also narrated the story of a dog which apparently had stopped barking ever since it came face to face with the animal. “Today morning, around 3am, some unusual sound was heard near the Christian Hermitage here. Apparently the animal was here, but vanished as people came out. But ever since, the dog here has stopped barking,” said Jeevakumar.

The curiosity factor has drawn many people to the area. Many come, some in fun, and even join the search operations. But for the local residents, who have been spending sleepless nights, the fear is real.

Source: TNN Nov 24, 2011

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

4 Responses to “How Much More Mysterious Can A Mystery Animal Get?”

  1. Jonathan Poulsen responds:

    Face of a cat??? That is indeed odd……

  2. springheeledjack responds:

    This could be the work of an individual story gone viral orally among the masses and has twisted out of control…but then again, if we get some actual descriptions, it can prove me wrong.:)

  3. alan responds:

    Actually if you ignore the “Cat Face” aspect there is a good fact they are talking about a particular honey badger that is native to western India, referred to as the Indian Ratel (Mellivora capensis indica). The people who witnessed it probably just panicked because it was probably further south than normal and they had never seen one before.


    from that page:

    The following account of the Indian ratel is extracted from Dr Judson’s Mammals of India – ” The Indian badger is found throughout the whole of India, from the extreme south to the foot of the Himalayas, chiefly in hilly districts, where it has greater facilities for constructing the boles and dens in which it lives ; but also in the north of India in alluvial plains, where the banks of large rivers afford equally suitable localities wherein to make its lair. It is stated to live usually in pairs, and to cat rats, birds, frogs, white ants, and various insects, and in the north of India it is accused of digging out dead bodies, and is popularly known as the grave-digger. It doubtless also, like its Cape congener, occasionally partakes of honey. It is often very destructive to poultry, and I have known of several having been trapped and killed whilst committing such depredations in Central India and in the northern Circars. In confinement the Indian badger is quiet and will par-take of vegetable food, fruits, rice, Scc.” • (O. T.)

    That very well may be our culprit.

  4. Krimeg responds:

    I don’t think you can ignore the cat face so easily. It’s may be an undescribed feline, probably belonging to the same species than the one reported in November 2010. See also here.

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