The Ennedi Tiger or Tigre de Montagne is a purportedly living sabertooth cat inhabiting the Ennedi Plateau, located in the east of Chad, in Sub-Saharan Africa. The native name for the Ennedi animal is unknown, but in other parts of Chad it is called hadjel, and in the Central African Republic it is called coq-djingé, gassingrâm, and vassoko. A very similar animal was reported from South Sudan's Imatong Mountains sometime before 1950.

According to the reports, it is larger than a lion and lacks a tail. The teeth protrude from the mouth, and the feet are hairy. The coloration is red or reddish-brown with white stripes. It is strong enough to carry off large antelopes. It is nocturnal and cave dwelling in the Ouadai district of the Ennedi mountain range. Natives described it to western explorers, to whom they identified it as a Machairodus sabertooth.


Cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans theorised that some sabre-toothed cats could have moved into the mountain caves to avoid scavengers, as their teeth would make them slow eaters. Additionally, they could use their fangs to dig up small animals such as rodents. In corroboration, one mountain tiger, the hadjel, is specifically said to be less dangerous than a lion because of its large obstructive teeth, leading it to mainly prey on small animals.

The mountain tiger is often confused with another possible African sabre-toothed cat, the water lion, but that would be a very different animal, adapted for an aquatic life.

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


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