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Mokele Mbembe's Neighbor


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Reputed to live near the lakes and riverbeds, which saturate the dense rainforests of the Congo?s Likouala swamp region, the Emela-Ntouka is a semi-aquatic herbivore, which has often been confused with its supposedly saurian, Lake Tele neighbor, the MOKELE-M?BEMBE, and has also been compared to the CHIPEKWE, which may actually be an alternate name for the creature.

Described as being a squat, short necked, thick tailed, smooth skinned animal of elephantine proportions, perhaps the Emela-Ntouka?s most intriguing characteristic is the single, ivory white horn, which was said to adorn its snout. According to native reports, this creature has been known to utilize this razor-sharp appendage to disembowel its natural enemies. In fact, this animal was said to have gained its appellation due to its notoriously violent disposition, as the words ?Emela-Ntouka? allegedly translate from the native language Lingala into: ?Killer of Elephants.?

It was the aforementioned description of this beast which has encouraged such preeminent cryptozoological figures as Dr. ROY P. MACKAL and BERNARD HEUVELMANS to suggest that these creatures may in fact be a relic species of the horned saurian known as Ceratopians, specifically the single horned Monoclonius . These animals evolved late in the Cretaceous Period were the last group of ornithischian (bird-hipped) dinosaurs to evolve before succumbing to a mass extinction after a mere 20 million years of existence. During their short reign, these great horned dinosaurs developed into a variety of fascinating species, some of which may have survived in the jungles of west-central Africa to this day.

Another theory, which is supported by none other than LOREN COLEMAN, suggested that the Emela-Ntouka is not saurian at all, but a new sub-species of semi-aquatic rhinoceros. Although this theory has found much favor among modern investigators, there is some discrepancy between the allegedly bone-like description of the Emela-Ntouka?s horn, and that of a rhino, which is made up a fused, hair-like substance known as keratin, as well as descriptions concerning the size of the animal?s tail. Still another hypothesis indicates that the creature is a heretofore unheard of horned mammal.

First brought to public attention in the book ?Eighteen Years on Lake Bangweulu? by J.E. Hughes, which was published in1933 (the same year that the first modern report of the LOCH NESS MONSTER hit the news stands), Hughes reported that a specimen of this animal was allegedly slaughtered by Wa-Ushi tribesmen, along the shores of the Luapula River, which connects Lake Bangweulu to Lake Mweru.

This creature was mentioned again in a 1954 article in the journal ?Mammalia?, authored by former Likouala game inspector, Lucien Blancou. It was Blancou who first mentioned the Emela-Ntouka?s penchant for goring elephants, and he reported that accounts of this animal ? which he claimed was ?larger than a buffalo? - hailed from numerous regions, including Impfondo, Epena, and Dongou. It is worth noting that the Emela-Ntouka, while unlike the Mokele-M?Bembe in many physical respects, shares with it a penchant for killing other animals who share its habitat. Much like the Mokele-M?Bembe?s renowned hatred for hippopotami, the Emela-Ntouka?s loathing of elephants, would seem to indicate that while these animals are both supposedly herbivorous, they also share a fierce sense of territoriality, as the natives who have had the misfortune of encountering these creatures would surely attest.

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This image--is it a painting or a photo? Any info. on the source of the image? How recent, or how credible, or how was it presented, as a depiction or an actual photo?

One thing that gets depressing about cryptozoology, is it constantly reminds one of how many known species we keep losing, to human pollution, land destruction, ecology/ habitat destruction, etc. Given the high rate of losses of known or more modern or better adapted species, how likely is it we'll find a living sample of any cryptid anymore? I'd think about the best we might hope for, might be a non-fossil skeleton, at this point. Then we'd just be able to say "It survived into the time of Man." Sad.

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