The Nandi Bear: Ferocious killer from the past
By Matthew J. Eaton
” What the Abominable Snowman is to Asia, or the great Sea Serpent is to the oceans, the Nandi Bear is to Africa. It is one of the most notorious of those legendary beasts which have, so far, eluded capture and the collector’s rifle.”
– Frank W. Lane
Called the most ferocious of African mystery beasts, the Nandi Bear evokes cries of horror in both natives and Westerners alike. Known throughout East Africa as duba, kerit, chimisit, kikambangwe, vere, sabrookoo, and many others. There are too many reports to simply write it off as widespread myth. The sightings of the Nandi Bear by Westerners backs up the reality of the beast. Officially there are no members of the bear family in Africa in modern times, but reports of bears or bear-like creatures are nothing new to Africa. Herodotus, Pliny the elder and other writers from ancient times placed bears in Africa. More recently, Dr. O. Dapper wrote in 1668 that “squirrels with tails much larger than those in Europe, bears, wild cats, and very venomous vipers…” all inhabited the Congo.
The Nandi Bear is often described as being like a large hyena about the size of a lion. It is said to have a brownish red to a dark color coat. It is a nocturnal animal and is said to attack humans only on dark moonless nights. It has been said to prey upon the children and natives from the villages. There are cases when natives haved killed the beast, normally by burning a hut it had entered. Westerners have also shot at the beast, but without success. The Nandi Bear has eluded both hunters and researchers alike to remain unclassified by the scientific community.