water Lion of Central Africa.
Etymology: Gbaya-Bossangoa (Ubangi), "water lion."
Variant names: Dilai', Mama hime, Mamaime (Zande/Ubangi, "water lion").
Physical description: Length, 5 feet. Shoulder height, 3 feet. The size of a horse. Mane. Large tusks. Hairy legs. Claws like a lion's.
Behavior: Aquatic. Feeds on fish and leaves. Kills hippopotamuses and crocodiles but does not eat them. In Central African Republic, said to kill and eat humans.
Distribution: Southern Chad; Central African Republic.
Significant sighting: In 1912, Naumann of Ulm, a lieutenant in the German Imperial Defense Corps, offered a reward for the Dilali while he was stationed north of the Ouham River in Chad. He failed to find any evidence other than stories.
(1) The aquatic variety of the Pygmy Elep hant
(2) A surviving saber-toothed cat, suggested by Bernard Heuvelmans.
Sources: Ingo Krumbiegel, Von neuen und unentdeckten Tierarten (Stuttgart, Germany: Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung, 1950), pp. 57—68; Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track of Unknown Animals (New York: Hill and Wang, 1958), pp. 463-465, 468, 474; Robert Kirch, "Animaux inconnus en Afrique?" Connaissance de la Chasse, no. 60 (April 1981): 62-65, 92.
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