"Operation Mourou N'gou"

An expedition was led to the Central African Republic in Dec. 1994 -Jan. 1995 to search for a water monster which allegedly inhabits the lakes and rivers in this little-explored country.

Led by Eric Joye, along with a friend, hunting guide Willy Blomme, the expedition failed to spy the creature, but came up with a fair amount of anecdotal evidence. One native guide told the two of how he had almost been pulled into a river by one of these animals while he was fishing in February 1985. He also said that the animals, called the mourou n'gou, hunt in pairs; one waiting in the river to attack any animals it's partner chased into the water.

The animal is described as having the shape and size of a leopard, with an ochre coat polka-dotted with blue and white spots. These spots are more concentrated on the beasts back, and is less concentrated on its flanks. It has a long hairy tail, and its head is said to resemble that's of a civet, but with very large teeth more like a leopards or a lions. The creatures trail is said to be like a leopards but bigger, and when it runs, it leaves behind claw prints, not characteristic of a leopard.

Bernard Heuvelmans, in his book Les Derniers Dragons d'Afrique (1978), suggests that the mourou n'gou may be a specialized variety of sabre-toothed tiger which has evolved to live in a watery environment. He also looked at the mourou n'gou as a reptile with morphology in accord with the mourou n'gou.

For more info, see Mystery Cats of the World (Robert Hale: London, 1989) by Karl Shuker and a new book by the same author, entitled In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (Blandford Press: London, 1995).

Source: Summary by Ben S. Roesch of Shuker, Karl P.N. 1995. "Menagerie of Mystery." Strange Magazine 15 (Spring): p. 33.