Tigre de Montagne

Mystery Cat of West and Central Africa.

Etymology: French, "mountain tiger."

Variant names: Coq-djingé (Yulu/Nilo-Saharan, "mountain tiger"), Coq-ninji, Gassin-grâm, Hadjel, Wanjilanko.

PP'hysical description: Larger than a lion. Red fur with white stripes, though a black variety is also known. Protruding teeth. Long hair on its paws. Tailless.

Behavior: Roars. Can carry away large antelopes.

Tracks: Long hair on the legs and paws eradicates its tracks.

Habitat: Mountains and caves.

Distribution: Ennedi and other mountainous areas of Chad; the Massif des Bongos, Central African Republic; Casamance Forest, Senegal.

Significant sighting: In the 1960s and 1970s, hunter Christian Le Noël heard stories about a big, striped cat with protruding teeth in the Ennedi Mountains, Chad. On one occasion, Le Noël heard a terrific roar in a cavern that his tracker identified as coming from a Coq-djingé.

pP'ossible explanation: Surviving Machairodus, a genus of saber-toothed cat that lived in Africa from the Miocene to the Pleistocene, 15-2 million years ago. Some species were as large as lions, but most had tigerlike proportions.

Sources: Karl Shuker, Mystery Cats of the World (London: Robert Hale, 1989), pp. 142-143; Karl Shuker, In Search ofPrehistoric Survivors (London: Blandford, 1995), pp. 148-149; Christian Le Noël, "Le tigre des montagnes: Des felins à dents en sabre au coeur de l'Afrique?" Institut Virtuel de Cryptozoologie, http://perso.wanadoo.fr/ cryptozoo/dossiers/tigrmont.htm.

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