The Cryptid Zoo: Emela-ntouka (or "Killer of Elephants")

The emela-ntouka is reported as living in lakes in the Congo, one of the most remote parts of Africa. It has four sturdy legs, grayish, hairless skin, and is probably just a little bit bigger than an elephant. It has a single large white horn in the center of its forehead or nose. It swims through the water with a powerful tail shaped like that of a crocodile. Its name comes from its aggressive habits. Though it eats only plants, it is so irritable that it will attack other large animals and kill them.

In southern Africa, near the border of Angola and Zambia, there is reportedly a similar beast, called the chipekwe. The chipekwe is supposed to live in Lake Bangweulu, Lake Mweru, the Kafue swamps, the Dilolo marshes, the Lukulu River and a number of other nearby aquatic habitats. It is supposed to be quite rare, an animal that even the natives seldom see, but it is supposed to be a real flesh-and-blood creature, not a supernatural being. It resembles a dinosaur, a rhinoceros and an elephant all at the same time, but it prefers to remain in the water most of the time, thus qualifying as a lake monster. The chipekwe has a single white horn or tusk, made of ivory, and its skin is rather dark in color, usually described as elephant-like. The chipekwe has also been described as a giant lizard, but this identification clearly describes a different animal than the classic chipekwe. The question of whether there is a giant lizard in Africa should be kept separate from the question of whether there is an aquatic dinosaur/rhino beast with a single horn in Africa.

Cryptozoologists have suggested several possible animals that the emela-ntouka might be. It could be a surviving dinosaur or it could be a large semi-aquatic mammal. Since it sounds similar to a rhinoceros, some researchers think it is a version of the prehistoric giant rhinoceros, one that has adapted to an aquatic living environment like the hippo. The emela-ntouka has often been confused with the mokele-mbembe, another African beast that is thought to be a dinosaur.

You can find out more about the Emela-ntouka from the following sources:

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Page 83
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Clark, Jerome. Unexplained!. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1999. Pages 277-279

Newton, Michael. Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005. Pages 68, 100-101, 148-149, 344-345, 387

Wikipedia, The. Emela-Ntouka

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