Mono Grande

Unknown Prim ate of South America. Etymology: Spanish, "big monkey." Variant names: Mojan (Arawakan), Mono rey ("king monkey").

Physical description: Tailless, apelike creature. Height, 5-6 feet.

Behavior: Arboreal. Runs with an odd, leaping gait. Call is an eerie howling sound. Throws stones at huts at night. Uses branches as weapons. Said to interbreed with the Indians.

Distribution: Serranía de Parijá of Colombia and Venezuela; eastern Venezuela; Río Paute, eastern Ecuador; Río Madidi area, Bolivia; possibly in Peru during colonial times.

MONO GRANDE 351

Significant sightings: In 1968, archaeologist Pino Turolla glimpsed two apelike creatures in the Venezuelan jungle.

In 1997, British travel writer Simon Chapman searched for the Mono rey of northern Bolivia but found no compelling evidence. He heard rumors that a pelt had been purchased by a foreigner for DNA analysis and that a living animal had been exhibited at the zoo in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Sources: Pedro de Cieza de León, The Travels ofPedro de Cieza de Leon, A.D. 1532—50 [1553], Hakluyt Society Works, vol. 33, p. 339 (New York: Burt Franklin, 1864); Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track ofUnknown Animals (New York: Hill and Wang, 1958), pp. 307-308, 328; Pino Turolla, Beyond the Andes (New York: Harper and Row, 1980), pp. 123-124, 132-136, 253-254, 287-289, 293; Michael T. Shoemaker, "The Mystery of the Mono Grande," Strange Magazine, no. 7 (April 1991): 2-5, 56-60; Simon Chapman, The Monster of the Madidi: Searching for the Giant Ape of the Bolivian Jungle (London: Aurum, 2001).

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