Ninki Nanka

Freshwater Monster of West Africa.

Variant names: Ningiri (in Guinea), Nini-ganne, Rainseou (Portuguese Creole).

Physical description: Length, 30 feet. Crocodile-like body. Horselike head. Three horns, one in the middle of its head. Long neck.

Behavior: Nocturnal. Spends much of its time submerged in mud. Said to take the form of a giant snake. Has a ravenous hunger.

Habitat: Mangrove marshes.

Distribution: Gambia River, Gambia; Casamance River, Senegal; Fouta-Djallon, Guinea.

Significant sighting: Thomas H. Dalrymple was on the bank of the Gambia River one night in 1935 when he noticed the local people getting excited about something in the river. The next day, they told him a Ninki nanka had been seen. According to them, it resembled the creature in a photo they had seen depicting a model dinosaur in a New York park.

Sources: Mervyn David W. Jeffreys, "African Pterodactyls," Journal of the Royal African Society 43 (1944): 72-74; Chris Moiser, "Ninki Nanka: The Dragon of the Gambia," Animals and Men, no. 24 (2001).

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