Mngwa

Also known as Nunda

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  • #3789
  • Modern Day Modern Day (culture)
  • Deadly Deadly (behaviour)

An enormous grey feline the size of a donkey whose name means 'the strange one.'

It has been spotted in Tanzania in East Africa where natives have known about the beast for centuries, some referring to it as the great grey ghost. The earliest description comes from a Swahili song from around 1150 that mentions both the lion (Simbha), the Leopard (Nsui) and the Mngaw as 3 different animals. It is believed to move with great stealth, hunting people at night without making a sound. It is spotted in the middle with stripes on its legs, face and tail. They feared the creature and many times over the past 700 years, parties of warriors ahve gathered and gone out to hunt the Mngwa without success. Later when the British came, they too tried to track the creature but again with no success. Evidence of this creature first arose in the early 1900s from British explorers.

In the 1920s the British explorer colonel official Captain William Hichens saw and wrote about the dead mangled bodies of natives that had apparently been killed by the grey feline.

In 1938, William Hichens reported of stories by natives stating that they were attacked by this beast. Fur samples that were caught indicated that this was not a lion or any known animal thus confirming supposedly the existence of a new species of carnivore.

Another explorer called Patrick Bowen apparently tracked the Mngwa and was thus interviewed by Frank W. Lane who published the story in the Nature Parade magazine in 1954. Bowen described the beast as a large leopard with brindled fur.

Bernard Heuvelmans speculated that the creature may possibly have been a unusual coloured variation and large size of the African golden cat (Profelis aurata). Othesrs claim that it was a Snow Leopard as both have a similar pattern of fur. Other scientists claim it as legend.

Its name is pronounced 'MING-WHA'.

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