Nzefu Loi

Water Lion of Central Africa.

Etymology: Luba (Bantu), "water elephant."

Physical description: Nearly the size of a hippopotamus. Long neck. Short and heavy ivory tusks. Hairy tail like a horse's.

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Behavior: Amphibious. Formerly hunted by the Baluba people using special traps.

Distribution: Lakes near the Lualaba River between Bukama and Kaniamba, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Possible explanations: (1) The aquatic variety of the PYGMY Elephant, suggested by Bernard Heuvelmans.

(2) A surviving saber-toothed cat, also suggested by Heuvelmans.

(3) A sauropod dinosaur like an Apatosaurus, first proposed by Paul Bonnivair.

Sources: Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track of Unknown Animals (New York: Hill and Wang, 1958), pp. 454, 472-474; Bernard Heuvelmans, Les derniers dragons d'Afrique (Paris: Plon, 1978), pp. 202-204, 377-378.

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