Has Anybody Seen the Nandi Bear?

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It’s hard to write this up as Mr. Nature, because the Nandi Bear might not exist. But it’s been a staple of East African folklore for a very long time, and I am told there are people in Kenya who are absolutely sure the beast is real–and very much to be avoided.

It is described as something between an oversized hyena and an undersized bear. As far as scientists can tell, bears have never lived in Africa south of the Sahara. Ice Age hyenas were much bigger and stronger than today’s hyenas, and they ate mammoths and rhinos. Eating a human wouldn’t pose much of a challenge.

Is it possible that an incredibly rare, powerful, nasty relative of the hyena prowls the forests of Kenya? People do sometimes attribute unidentified, fatal animal attacks on humans to the Nandi Bear. Hard to study an animal when no one who ever sees it lives to tell the tale.

And then there’s the basic problem of cryptozoology: no specimens. Because if you do come up with a specimen–like when fishermen first caught a coelacanth–it immediately ceases to be cryptozoological and becomes just plain zoological! What’s a poor cryptozoologist to do? His situation is impossible.

7 comments on “Has Anybody Seen the Nandi Bear?

  1. Havd you ever thought about writing a book on cryptozoology. Writing books is something you do well, and a measured, reasonable voice on the subject would probably be a good thing.

    One thing I have long believed is that we do not know about all the creatures extant. There are places which are largely unexplored and, literally, God only knows what is there. I don’t be,I’ve for one nanosecond that any of God’s works will ever truly be lost. He will not be thwarted in His purpose and whatever the history of zoology is, it has happened in accordance with His will

    That having been said, I chased a couple of Nandi Bears out of my yard just last week. Chez Unknowable is an adventurous place to live. 🙂

    1. Y’know, that’s just what I need–more stuff to write!
      I’m just a fan of cryptozoology, not a serious student of it.
      BTW, you shouldn’t have chased those Nandi bears out of your yard. Now they’ll come back with their friends.

    2. If they were still alive today, and I encountered one, I’d become “the other white meat”. 🙂

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