Badigui

Dinosaur-like animal of Central Africa, similar to the MOKELE-MBEMBE.

Etymology: Banda-Bambari (Ubangi) word. Variant names: Diba (Gbaya/Ubangi), Guaneru, Ngakula-ngu (Banda/Ubangi, "water devil"), Songo (Gbanziri/Ubangi).

Physical description: Serpentine. Snakelike markings, lighter underneath. Flat, snakelike head. Neck, 10-12 feet long.

Behavior: Aquatic. Browses on tree branches without leaving the water. Strangles hippopotamuses but does not eat them.

Tracks: Leaves a furrow 3-5 feet wide.

Distribution: The Brouchouchou (near Ippy) and Gounda Rivers, Central African Republic; possibly Equatorial Guinea.

Significant sightings: About 1890, a Banda-Mbres tribesman named Moussa saw a Badigui eating the large leaves of a tree (genus Mitra-gyna) near a stream in the Bakala District of Central African Republic. Its head was a bit larger than a python's, and its neck was much longer than a giraffe's. The skin was as smooth as a snake's, with similar markings.

In 1928, a Badigui crushed a field of manioc belonging to the chief of Yetomane, Central African Republic, and left wide tracks. About the same time, it killed a hippopotamus in the River Brouchouchou.

Lucien Blancou's gun bearer Mitikata told him that, in about 1930 near Ndele, Central African Republic, he had seen an Ngakula-ngu's tracks, which were as wide as a truck.

Sources: Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track of Unknown Animals (New York: Hill and Wang, 1958), pp. 463, 466-467, 470, 475-477, 482; Bernard Heuvelmans, Les derniers dragons d'Afrique (Paris: Plon, 1978), pp. 262-266, 388, 395.

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