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HAVE SABERTOOTH CATS SURVIVED INTO THE PRESENT?

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 1:20 AM

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HAVE SABERTOOTH CATS SURVIVED INTO THE PRESENT?


Researched, Compiled, and Edited

By The Cryptozoologist (Randolph Merrill)


First Posted on August 21, 2007


According to scientific orthodoxy the African sabre-toothed tigers, such as Megantereon and Afrosmilus died out 500,000 years ago. However, in certain African countries such as the Central African Republic and Chad, sabre-toothed tigers have been seen by the locals in modern times.


There are reports of two different species, one that mainly inhabits the mountains (called Hadjel, Gassingram, or Vossoko), and a Water-inhabiting one (called Mourou N'gou, Mamaimé, or Dilali).


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The Ennedi tiger is purportedly a living Sabertooth cat inhabiting the Ennedi Plateau, located in the east of Chad in Sub-Saharan Africa. The animal is known by the French speakers of the Zagaoua peoples of the escarpments of the Ennedi mountains as "tigre de montagne." They describe it as being larger than a lion but lacking a tail. It possesses red banded fur with white stripes and it has long hairs on its feet. It also has teeth that protrude from its mouth. It inhabits the mountains and caves of Ennedi, and it is so strong it can carry away large antelopes.


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In the mountainous Tibesti region of Chad the sabertooth is known as "nisi" or "noso." It is said to attack hens and slit the throats of goats without eating them. There are completely black specimens. In 1975, Christian Le Noel was leading an eland hunt from Derby near the river Ouandja, 15 miles from Tirongoulou on the Chad-Sudan border, when he heard a howling from a cave like nothing he had heard before. His tracker refused to go any further, saying that it was the sabertooth.


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The Water type is of unknown relation to the first, although it is also larger than a lion (8-12 feet), very fierce, and has protruding teeth. The animal's color pattern is reddish brown with white markings (comparable to mountain cats), to leopard-like with stripes, to uniform brown. In reports, its teeth are always described as "walrus-like" and the tail is always long. Its habitat extends into the Central African Republic. There are also tales of water lions in folklore from the Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sudan. A cave drawing that illustrates a walrus-like creature with a long tail exists in South Africa.


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The people of Temki, Hadjeray in southwest Chad call the sabre-toothed tiger the "hadjel." Wounds have been found on hippos corresponding to those which might be inflicted by the teeth of a sabre-toothed tiger. Christian Le Noel witnessed a hippo which had died of strange wounds which could only have been given by a cat armed with exceptionally well developed upper canine teeth.


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In 2003, Richard Freeman of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, U.K., went to Sumatra to look for orang-pendek, the mystyery ape-man. While in Indonesia he learned about the cigau, a cat-like animal with a head like a lion and a body like a horse that runs fast and inhabits the jungle. According to the British palaeontologist Darren Naish the cigau may be related to a group of fossil cats called Homotheres, related to the more familiar sabre cats but with smaller canines. A relict population of Homotheres may survive in Sumatra. See Fortean Times 182 (April 2004) pp. 32-39.


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There are precedents for discovering new animals in the Twentieth Century. In fact at least 55 new species of mammal have been discovered in the last 99 years. In 1992 the Vu Quang ox was discovered on the Vietnam-Laos border. In 1986 up to five specimens of the hairy Sumatran rhinoceros were found on Sarawak. It had been thought this species had died out there by the end of World War Two. In 1998 a new species of coelacanth was discovered in waters off Indonesia. This hunt for a sabertooth in Chad is NOT a hunt for a "monster"; it is a serious scientific attempt to find out the truth about the saber-toothed tigers' status in Chad. Just as this century opened with the discovery of the okapi in 1901, perhaps the next century will open with the discovery of a sabre-toothed tiger.


A related footnote: the last lions in the Sahara also survived here, until they became extinct by the mid-20th century (the last lion was seen in 1940)


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THE PERSONAL WITNESS OF CHRISTIAN LE NÖEL


TIGER MOUNTAIN: THE CATS - SABRE TOOTH IN THE HEART OF AFRICA?

REPORT OF THE VIRTUAL INSTITUTE OF CRYPTOZOOLOGY


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"We founded this organization (the French Association for Research cryptozoological) after the death of Bernard Heuvelmans. The founding members, of which I am one, are Christophe de Poitiers Beaulieu our current president, Michel Ballot, lawyer Monaco, Valencia Jean Roche, Philippe Janet Bloch St., near Nice, and Dominique Nodau....I was a student of, and correspondent with, Bernard Heuvelmans for Central Africa. My job as a professional hunting guide for big game made me spend most of my time in sub-Saharan Africa." Christian Le Noel, Editor of Hominologie and Cryptozoology, the quarterly journal of the AFRC.

 

(Translated from the French)


In the Central African Republic, where I worked as a professional hunting guide for twelve years, the native Youlou people still speak of a saber-toothed beast they call Koq-Nindji in their vernacular or "Mountain Tiger" in French .


Among legendary animals, the "Mountain Tiger" has a special place, because its story is common to different tribes and races, which have never come in contact with each other, such as the Toubou nomads, the Ennedi, the Tibesti and the Youlous of Central Africa.


[Cryptozoologist's note: In this respect, the "Mountain Tiger" is very much like the Sasquatch, which also shares a history with every native American tribe in North America, the majority of which have never interacted with one another.]

 

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This legendary creature occupies a typically mountainous north-south geographical area which extends from almost the Tropic of Capricorn (Tibesti) to just south of the equator through the regions of Bahr-el-Ghazal and Mount Kenya. The area follows a ridge formed by the Saharan highlands of Erdébé, the Mourdi depression, Darfur, the mountains of the Bahr-el-Ghazal, and finally through the mountains of Uganda to Mount Kenya, therefore forming a continuity of habitat covering thousands of kilometers.


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The most accurate description of this animal is given by the "Youlous" tribe of northeastern Central African Republic (CAR), some of whose old hunters claim to have seen it in their youth. This ethnic Sudano-Guinean strain is very old; it occurs in the region of Ouanda Djale where I spent several years of my job as a hunting guide for society SAFOV.



The Youlous are convinced that there are still "Mountain Tigers" in their region. They describe it as a beast a little bigger than a lion with a red coat, and clear blotches or stripes. Its tail is short, and the hair on the legs is long and thick, which prevents it from leaving identification marks on the ground. However, the main feature of this animal, which differentiates it from the lion, is that it has canines that protrude from the mouth!


This description is very similar to those of Machairodus or Smilodon, whose fossils, including their skulls, have been discovered there, proving that these animals had once lived in the area, and were contemporaries of ancient man.


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The Youlous are excellent trackers, accustomed to hunting big cats. They have great vision and an extraordinary sense of observation for everything about the wildlife of the bush. They would not confuse two types of cats, even if they have similar characteristics. Their description of the "Mountain Tiger" is that of a saber-toothed cat. The Youlous who described this beast are all virtually illiterate people, and therefore never had the opportunity to view any paleontology or zoology books. They also point out that this wild beast, unlike the lion, can be black, which excludes any confusion with the local lions and leopards of which there have never been any observed cases of melanism in region.


I conducted an experiment with my Youlous trackers, presenting them with drawings in color, reproducing the different species of wild cats living today on four continents: tiger, ocelot, cheetah, snow leopard, leopard, puma, etc.., Among these, I had placed a representation of a saber-toothed tiger in prehistoric times. Without any hesitation, the Youlous identified Smilodon as "their" "Mountain Tiger".


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To convince me, they took me to a cave forming a rock shelter where according to them there had been a "Mountain Tiger" thirty years ago (we were in 1970). My first tracker, Djémé, assured me that he had seen it when he was with his father during a hunting party in the hills of Melle. He and his father had managed to kill a large antelope 300 kg (661 lb), and at the time of skinning a "Mountain Tiger" came out of the bush, seized the trophy and carried it off without apparent effort, while both hunters stood stunned and terrified. The hunters could only return empty-handed to the village.


It seems that there is also an aquatic form of this beast which exists in the major rivers of the country, under the name "water lion" or "water panther" in Sango-ti-Ndzé Ngou. I collected evidence on this species in the Bamingui-Bangoran region of northern CAR. The wife of one of my trackers in that region told me that in the '50s a "water lion" was caught in a fish net (they can reach a diameter of over one meter) on the river between the villages of Bangoran Kaga Bandoro and Mbrès. The villagers killed it, and the skull was recovered by the village chief. Since I was well known in this village, I asked the chief about the killing, but he refused to give me any information, claiming that the woman was deceived, and this despite the large sum I proposed to him to see the skull. Unfortunately, this is normal, as the natives of these remote areas all have the desire to keep secret certain information because, they say, "these are our last secrets; whites know everything and took everything from us: if we were to reveal our latest secrets, we will not have anything."


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In the Bamingui Prefecture in the northern Central African Republic, along the Bamingui River, we have a visual and written testimony of a European that dates back to colonization, in 1910, It seems a column led by a French officer and a subordinate officer, and escorted by Senegalese tirailleurs (literally "skirmishers"; a corps of colonial infantry in the French Army), went back to Chad to punish the rebel Rabba Chadien who had just slaughtered the administrator to Bretonet Niellim north of Fort Archambault.


To cross the Bamingui, it was necessary to do it on pirogues (large canoes) being able to contain about ten people, is at the minimum 700 kg. Under the eyes of the officer that oversaw the crossing, a "water lion" attacked one of the pirogues in the process of crossing, and seized itself of a tirailleur that it took below the water. The officer did a complete report on the incident that remains to this day in the military archives.


The "water lions" are believed to live in rock caves located in the banks of rivers in this region. Their eyes shine in the night like glowing embers, and their growls are like the sound of wind just before a storm or tornado. How do these beasts get enough nourishment? Africans say they are primarily nocturnal. and some evidence suggests that they may be able to survive in isolated areas and wetlands.


A friend, Marcel Halley, a hunter of Gabon in the 1920s, witnessed a strange fact: hunting in a vast marsh, his attention was attracted by groans from the reeds, he came and found a female Hippo slaughtered by an unknown beast. It had gaping wounds that had not been made by another hippo, because only the males of this species fight among themselves, and their wounds are characteristically identifiable. The animal also had several big, long and deep wounds, which could not have been done by the tusks of a hippo. The beast also had a huge hole under its neck and another on the shoulder.


Personally, I have witnessed the same adventure. In 1970 in front of Fort Lamy (now Shar) The Service of Forestry, Fisheries and Hunting asked me to shoot a hippopotamus that had became aggressive.


He attacked the boats that transported people between Chad and the Cameroon bank of Fort Foureau (Kousseri). I felled the animal and realized it was covered with sores that were located in the same places as those on the female hippo which were observed by Marcel Halley; wounds of the same size, the same shape, so probably made by the same type of predator. These wounds were deep gashes as if they had been performed with a sharp object such as a saber. Another wound in the neck and shoulder was the shape of a hole into which I could stick my forearm. There was no sign of infection, indicating that the wounds were recent. I also took photos of this animal, but I did not pay attention to sex, since according to the size of the animal, it should be either a female or an immature beast.


Is it possible that it was a "water lion" saber-tooth that killed these two animals, apart from each other by thousands of miles?

What to believe? Are the "water lions" merely a reminiscence of ancient times in the collective memory of the Youlous? The specialists claim that the memory transmits oral memories only for a period of four hundred years maximum! Is it possible then that the Youlous really cohabitated with the last representatives of this residual species. If so, that would upset the generally accepted theories, according to which such beasts as the saber-tooth disappeared in Africa about 500,000 years ago.


Unfortunately until this day none of these famously spectacular canines have been found by the Youlous, or they are hidden and are never shown to the foreigners, or again, they were employed to make powerful talismans and they sleep again in leather holsters, out of sight to the uninitiated. I think we can put our finger on a pair of these canines: among a lot of small elephant tusks from Kenya, we discovered two small tusks of a different texture of ivory, and so far zoologists have not been able to determine to which species of animal they belonged.


The presence not so long ago of such an animal is not impossible, because in the mountains where the Youlous live, there are special plants that are found nowhere else in the world. They are much older than the saber-toothed cats, and it is the cycas and especially the Encephalartos, which would help to prove that the climate in this area has always been almost identical, with extreme variations elsewhere not unduly influencing the environment. This continuity has doubtless allowed the flora and therefore quite possibly the fauna as well, to maintain themselves in the original state until the present.


Anyway, the legend is still alive in the memory of the Youlous RCA (République Centrafricaine | Central African Republic) and also among the Toubou and Zagawa Borkou of Northern Chad. Maybe the clues to the "Mountain Tiger's" existence, past or present, will be found as claws, teeth, and skin pieces transformed into amulets, whose holders no longer know their origin or scientific value.


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REFERENCES


1. Le Noël, Christian. Le Tigre Des Montagnes: Des Felins A Dents En Sabre Au Coeur De L'Afrique? Institut Virtuel of de Cryptozoologie.


2. Shuker, Karl P. N. (1989). Mystery Cats of the World. Robert Hale. ISBN 0-7090-3706-6.

 

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4 Comments

Reply Justin Santos
6:21 PM on March 13, 2013 
Thanks for the read. All though I must say, I have never been on expeditions and I'm no expert, but it's true that it could of been memories pass down from generation to generation. However, these species could still exist. They could be rare and near extinction. If they still exist, chances are one day we may find one or a population of them.
Reply The Cryptozoologist
12:26 AM on March 20, 2013 
Justin Santos says...
Thanks for the read. All though I must say, I have never been on expeditions and I'm no expert, but it's true that it could of been memories pass down from generation to generation. However, these species could still exist. They could be rare and near extinction. If they still exist, chances are one day we may find one or a population of them.


That's definitely the open-minded investigative attitude to have, Justin! Without it, one can never be a true cryptozoologist!
Reply Maylage
1:18 PM on June 13, 2013 
Wouldn't it be possible for sabertooth cats to have simply evolved into a smaller version to adapt to the modern world, like Megalania evolved into komodo dragons?
Reply The Cryptozoologist
4:45 PM on September 4, 2013 
Maylage says...
Wouldn't it be possible for sabertooth cats to have simply evolved into a smaller version to adapt to the modern world, like Megalania evolved into komodo dragons?


Hey Maylage,

I don't personally believe in the theory of macro-evolution. I myself am a young earth scientist. However, from the perspective of micro-evolution I think there is definitely a chance that some species have simply "down-sized" in the last 4000+ years since the Biblical world-wide Flood. This can primarily be attributed to increased cosmic and solar radiation as a direct result of the breakdown of the atmosphere. No reason at all why those creatures could not have survived. The existence of any creatures after the Flood depended entirely on their ability to adapt to post-deluvian conditions and pressure from competitors as well as from mankind