Cryptid 081 Nadi Bear
Location: Western Kenya, Africa
Type: Hybrid Beast
Evidence: Besides hundred of sightings by westerners and reports that local people have killed the animal, there remains no physical evidence that the Nandi Bear exists.
Possible Population size: Unknown
Reports of the Nandi Bear by westerns have been coming out of western Kenya, Africa from as early as the 1900s, however the native people have been encountering the beast for much longer. The creature takes its name from the Nandi people which call western Kenya their home. The Nandi people call the creature Kent and believe that when the Nandi Bear takes a human life, it only does so to eat the brains.
Described as being about the same size as a large lion and resembling that of a hyena with a brownish red to a dark color coat, the name Nandi Bear can be a bit misleading. The name comes from two factors, its frequent sightings by the Nandi people and its apparent bear like facial features and stride. The only known bear species in Africa, the Atlas Bear, which lived some distance away in the Atlas Mountains, is said to have gone extinct several decades ago due to over hunting by the Roman Empire, leaving us with one question, what is the Nandi Bear. Scientists have speculated four main theories.
The Nandi Bear is said to have many bear like qualities, its facial features and stride match those of known bears, and reports also say it is able to stand on its hind legs, another trait of known bears. The Nandi Bear is also reported to be able to climb trees, waiting for a possible victim to pass by. The physical features of the Nandi bear do have some resemblance to that of the extinct Atlas Bear, however the distance from the Atlas Mountains and lack of any fossil records in the area make that highly unlikely.
Perhaps the most likely candidate for the true identity of the Nandi Bear is that of a Hyena. It is thought that the Nandi bear may be an undiscovered giant hyena or even a prehistoric survivor. Fossil records show that during the Pleistocene there lived a hyena in Africa that was roughly it size of a modern lion called the Short-Faced Hyena. Being a much more active hunter, the Short-Faced Hyena would match many of the reported attacks by the Nandi Bear.
Some Zoologists feel that if the Nandi Bear truly does exist it may be a surviving Chalicothere, a sloped back animal related to horses which had large claws instead of hooves. Like the Short-Faced Hyena, the Chalicothere is thought to have gone extinct in the Pleistocene Era. It is believed that the creatures claws were used for digging up roots and possibly for defense. If this was true, and the Chalicothere used its claws for defense, than an enraged Chalicothere would be capable of reported Nandi Bear attacks. Although being a herbivore, the Chalicothere does fit the general description of the Nandi Bear.
The Nandi Tribe often describes the Nandi Bear as a large baboon like primate. Mark A. Hall and Loren Coleman agree that the Nandi Bear may be a form of unknown baboon, possibly another prehistoric survivor. Fossils indicate that a giant baboon twice the size of modern baboons once lived in Africa, and large baboon would be capable of reported Nandi Bear attacks. Baboons can also stand up straight and climb trees, a reported quality of the Nandi bear.
In 1919, a farmer named Cara Buxton related the following story:
"A short time ago a 'Gadett' [or geteit, another name for the Nandi Bear] visited the district. This name is given to the animal by the Lumbwa and signifies the 'brain-eater.' Its first appearance was on my farm, where the sheep were missing. We finally found all ten, seven were dead and three were still alive. In no case were the bodies touched, but the brains were torn out. During the next ten days fifty-seven goats and sheep were destroyed in the same way; of these thirteen were found alive ..."
Whatever the Nadi Bear is, the fact that sightings often are reported alongside strange livestock mutilations means that the creature is potentially dangerous. The Nadi Bear may be a variation of Chupacabras or other known livestock killers. As usual, we won't know the truth until one is caught or killed.... or.... maybe it's best if we don't know the truth, and enjoy it for the mystery it is.
Cryptid Files: [link]