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Ngoima by daizua123 dajvmu6-pre

The ngoima or guanionien is a cryptid bird of prey reported from the Republic of the Congo, described as an eagle-like bird which eats monkeys and goats.[1][2]


According to eyewitness Andre Mouelle, commissaire politique of the Republic of the congo, the ngoima has a wingspan of 9' to 13', "with talons and legs as large and powerful as a man's hand and forearm". It has a cruel, hooked beak, and dark brown to black feathers with "lighter underparts and lighter shadings and patterns underneath the tips of its feathers".[1]

It nests at the top of tall trees, and though it's favourite prey is monkeys, it will also kill and eat small goats.[1] The guanionien reported by Paul du Chaillu in 1870, which Mackal notes sounds identical to the ngoima,[1] is also said to pierce out the eyes of its prey, and to kill larger animals such as mandrills and even chimpanzees. The guanionien was greatly feared by the natives for its strength and ferocity.[3]



Whilst exploring the Congo, French explorer Paul du Chaillu saw a guanionien attack and fly off with a monkey. Whilst he was himself preparing to shoot a monkey, he suddenly:[3]... saw some big thing, like a large shadow, suddenly come down upon the tree. Then I heard the flapping of heavy wings, and also the death-cry of a poor mondi. Then I saw a huge bird, with a breast spotted somewhat like a leopard, raise itself slowly into the air, carrying the monkey in its powerful finger-like talons. The claws of one leg were fast in the upper part of the neck of the monkey; so deep were they in the flesh that they were completely buried, and a few drops of blood fell upon the leaves below. The other leg had its claws quite deep into the back of the monkey. The left leg was kept higher than the right, and I could see that the great strength of the bird was used at that time to keep the neck, and also the back of the victim, from moving. The bird rose higher and higher, the monkey's tail swayed to and fro, and then both disappeared. It was a guanionien. Its prey was, no doubt, taken to some big tree where it could be devoured.

Some time later, Chaillu came across a spot in the forest where he:[3]... saw on the ground more than a hundred skulls of various animals, and of monkeys of all sizes, from those of baby monkeys to those of large mandrills; and there were two or three skulls of young chimpanzees. [...] I quickly perceived that these skulls were all scattered round a huge tree which rose higher than any of the trees surrounding it.


Mackal believed that the guanionien must have been a martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) on account of its spotted chest and its method of attacking prey, "like a parachute dropping". It will prey on large animals including antelopes, monkeys, and goats; and builds its nests in high trees.[1]

However, the martial eagle has never been reported from the Republic of the Congo, and prefers open habitats, not jungles like those of the Congo. Additionally, it has an absolute maximum wingspan of 10', smaller than the ngoima's reported 13' wingspan.[1]

The crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) has a slightly smaller wingspan than the martial eagle, but it does range over forested and jungled areas, including in West Africa: like the martial eagle and the ngoima, it will kill goats, antelopes, and monkeys; and it has claws more powerful than any other African eagle; and it does nest in tall trees. There are also accounts of crowned eagles attacking people unprovoked, and a human skull was discovered in a crowned eagle's nest in Zimbabwe. All this leads Mackal to believe that the ngoima is likely a crowned eagle, with its size overstated by eyewitnesses.[1]

Notes and references[]

1.↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Mackal, Roy P. (1987) A Living Dinosaur? In Search of Mokele-Mbembe, Brill, ISBN 978-9004085435

2.↑ Eberhart, George M. (2002) Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology ABC-CLIO, Inc. ISBN 1-57607-283-5

3.↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Chaillu, Paul du (1870) Lost in the Jungle