Nandi bear

The Nandi Bear, also called Duba, Chimosit, Kikambangwe, Chimisit, Vere, Kerit, Sabrookoo and various other names depending on the particular region, is a cryptid reported to live in Africa. The sightings of the Nandi Bear by Western backs up the reality of the beast. Officially there are no members of the bear family in Africa in modern times, but reports of bears or bear-like creatures are nothing new to Africa.



Artist's rendition

The Nandi Bear is often described as being like a large hyena/ bear-like creature around 4-6 feet tall or the size of a black bear. Some have speculated that Nandi Bears are in fact misidentified hyenas or a surviving chalicotheres. It is said to have a brownish red to a dark color coat. The Nandi Bear is reported to leave five toed, nearly 9 inch long tracks that are distinctly canine like with the heels being long. In some accounts the Nandi Bear has demonstrated a tendency to rise on its hind legs when observed. It is a nocturnal animal and is said to attack humans only on dark moonless nights. It has been said to prey upon the children and natives from the villages. Local legend holds that it only eats the brain of its victims. There are cases when natives have killed the beast, normally by burning a hut it had entered. Westerners have also shot at the beast, but without success. The Nandi Bear has eluded both hunters and researchers alike to remain unclassified by the scientific community. Other than the Atlas Bear extinct by the 1800s, no living bears are known to be native to modern Africa, though the Etruscan, and species of the prehistoric genera Agriotherium and Indarctos, lived in Northern Hemisphere during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Louis Leakey suggested that Nandi Bear descriptions matched that of the extinct bear, though Chalicotheres were Perissodactyls.


Though sightings of the Nandi Bear have been reported by natives for centuries, the Nandi Bear was first reported by colonists in the early 1900's. In the Journal of East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society, Geoffrey Williams who was a part of the Nandi Expedition published his own sighting of the creature. As Williams wrote:

I was travelling with a cousin on the Uasingishu just after the Nandi expedition, and, of course, long before there was any settlement up there. We had been camped . . . near the Mataye and were marching towards the Sirgoit Rock when we saw the beast . . . I saw a large animal sitting up on its haunches no more than 30 yards away . . . I should say it must have been nearly 5 feet high . . . it dropped forward and shambled away towards the Sirgoit with what my cousin always describes as a sort of sideways canter . . . I snatched my rifle and took a snapshot at it as it was disappearing among the rocks, and, though I missed it, it stopped and turned its head round to look at us. . . . In size it was, should I say, larger than the bear that lives in the pit at the "Zoo" and it was quite as heavily built. The fore quarters were very thickly furred, as were all four legs, but the hind quarters were comparatively speaking smooth or bare. . . . . the head was long and pointed and exactly like that of a bear. . . . I have not a very clear recollection of the ears beyond the fact that they were small, and the tail, if any, was very small and practically unnoticeable. The color was dark. . . . Other reports of the creature come from workers on the Magadi Railway which was then under construction. Schindler, a railway employee had come across a series of five toed, canine-like tracks that measured 8.5 inches long with the tracks heel being long.

On March 8, 1913, G. W. Hickes, the engineer in charge building the Magadi Railway through East Africa reported sighting a Nandi Bear. While traveling on a motor trolley at 25 miles per hour, he had spotted what he first thought to be a hyena about 50 yards straight ahead. Although the "hyena" had noticed Hickes and was heading off the line at a right angle, the trolley was approaching faster than the animal could make its escape through the eighteen inch high grass of the open country. As Hickes drew nearer he realized that the creature he first thought to be a hyena was something different. The animal was about as tall as a lion and tawny in color. Its thick-set body had high withers and a broad rump. The creature had a short neck, stumpy nose, and short ears. As it ran off with its forelegs and both hind legs rising at the same time, Hickes noticed its shaggy hair which reach down its large, mud covered feet. After the strange beast had vanished from sight did Hickes realize that the creature he saw was the same one that others had reported seeing during the railway's construction. Not long after Hickes encounter a native servant reported seeing a creature similar to the one Hickes had seen standing on its hind legs. To this day reports of these strange creature continue, only time will tell whether or not the identity of the Nandi Bear will ever be discovered.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.