Beruang Rambai

Unknown Primate of Southeast Asia.

Etymology: Land Dayak (Austronesian), "long-haired bear," the common name for the sun bear.

Variant name: Bali djakai (Lawangan/Aus-tronesian, "demon").

Physical description: Robust body. Shoulder height, 4 feet. Height standing erect, 6 feet. Covered in black hair. Bullet-shaped head. Bull neck. Hair on arms and thighs is 3 inches long. Thick legs.

Behavior: Walks on all fours. Stands on its hind legs occasionally. Beats its chest.

Tracks: Both humanlike and bearlike.

Distribution: Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, as well as in neighboring Sarawak State, Malaysia, both on the island of Borneo.

Significant sightings: In the 1930s, Leonard Clark ran across a Bali djakai at a water hole in the Borneo mountains. It picked up a helmet left behind, detected the scent of Clark and his guide, beat its chest, and disappeared into the bush.

Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, earl of Cran-brook, collected descriptions of the Beruang rambai in the 1960s and concluded it was neither bear nor orangutan. Possible explanations:

(1) The Sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is a logical candidate, based on the name alone, though its hair is short.

(2) Misidentified Orangutan (Pongo pyg-maeus).

Sources: Leonard Clark, A Wanderer till I Die (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1937), pp. 174, 188-195; Odette Tchernine, The Yeti (London: Neville Spearman, 1970), pp. 77-78; Jeffrey A. McNeel y and Paul Spencer Wachtel, Soul of the Tiger (New York: Doubl eday, 1988), p. 259.

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