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    "Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Emela-ntouka

The Emela-ntouka is a mythic African legendary creature among the Pygmy tribes. Its name means "killer of the elephants" in the Lingala language and is also known as the Aseka-moke, Njago-gunda, Ngamba-namae, Chipekwe or Irizima.

The Emela-ntouka is around the size of an African Bush Elephant, brownish to gray in color, with a heavy tail, and a body of similar to a rhinoceros. It has one long horn on its snout although it is unknown what the horn is made of whether it be ivory, bone or keratin. It is described as having no frills or ridges along the neck. The animal is alleged to be semi-aquatic and feed on Malombo and other leafy plants. The Emela-ntouka is known to snort, rumble or growl.

This cryptid is alleged to mainly inhabit the vast shallow waters in the swamps and lakes of the Congo River basin, particularly in the Likouala swamps in the Republic of the Congo. It is also said to inhabit Lake Bangweulu in Zambia. They are claimed to be solitary and herbivores. Locals allegedly treat the creature with great fear because of its fierce sense of territoriality.

What could this creature possibly be? One of the more popular theories suggest it is a ceratopsian or a herbivorous, beaked dinosaur. However, some experts disagree siting descriptions told by witnesses don't include key features ceratopsians possess. Furthermore, ceratopsian fossils are primarily found in North America and Asia, not so much Africa. Others believe it may be related to the Triceratops or Ttyracosaurus. Author Loren Coleman suggests that the Emela-Ntouka is not saurian or reptilian, but a new species of semi-aquatic rhinoceros.

This creature may not be well known by the masses but it has found its place in the written word. J.E. Hughes published his book Eighteen Years on Lake Bangweulu in 1933. He spoke of an animal that fits the description of an Emela-Ntouka despite not being referred to by name that was slaughtered by Wa-Ushi tribesmen, along the shores of the Luapula River. However, the Emela-Ntouka was mentioned by name for the first time in 1954, in an article in the journal Mammalia, by former Likouala game inspector Lucien Blancou. He stated the Emela-Ntouka was "larger than a buffalo" and dwelled throughout the Likouala swamps. He was also the first to mentioned the fact it kills elephants, buffalos or hippos when disturbed.

An episode of the New Zealand documentary World Mysteries included an interview with a man who claimed to have encountered a dead Emela-Ntouka. He allegedly still possesses the animal's horn which he removed from the body. The episode was filmed but never aired. Perhaps this creature will be the subject of a future episode of Destination Truth.

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