Zoology

MAPPING OUT THE NANDI BEAR


 

Shut-up
of the Nandi bear depiction on John McKenzie’s 1961 map East Africa (© John
McKenzie – reproduced right here on a strictly non-commercial Truthful Use foundation for
academic/evaluate functions solely)

Final yr on ShukerNature, in my in depth
documentation of what could be the one most important episode ever
recorded regarding Kenya’s most notorious cryptid (click on right here
to learn my weblog article), the
ferocious Nandi bear, I made explicit reference to an article on this elusive
creature by Gordon Boy that had been printed within the October-November 1998
subject of the periodical SAFARI Journal.

Nonetheless, in his SAFARI article, Boy included one extra however fascinating Nandi
bear nugget that I particularly did not allude to in my very own. This was as a result of I
felt that it deserved its very personal, separate protection on ShukerNature (and likewise
as a result of I wished to analysis it additional first, which I’ve since performed). So
right here it’s now.

 

East Africa, John McKenzie’s map that comprises the tantalizing Nandi bear
depiction
(© John McKenzie –
reproduced right here on a strictly non-commercial Truthful Use foundation for
academic/evaluate functions solely)

Boy acknowledged that an illustrated full-colour map
of East Africa by John McKenzie and easily entitled East Africa (see above scan of it) included an outline of a
strange-looking creature that was truly labeled on it as a Nandi bear. He
additionally acknowledged that the map had been produced in 1952. In actuality, nevertheless, once I
researched this merchandise, I found that it had truly been produced in 1961,
not 1952, in Nairobi, Kenya; its printer/engraver was East African Commonplace
Ltd.

Boy included a reduced-size replica of
your complete map in his article (the map’s full measurement is 70 cm by 57 cm), however this
replica will not be large enough for the person animal depictions in it to be
something aside from minuscule. When enlarged, nevertheless, they’re all rendered
clear sufficient to be readily identifiable with recognized species – all, that’s,
apart from the Nandi bear depiction, which doesn’t resemble any species
at the moment recognized to science. Nor, for that matter, does it correspond with any
eyewitness description of the Nandi bear.

 

Nandi bear depiction proven in situ geographically
on McKenzie’s map East Africa
(© John McKenzie – reproduced right here on a strictly non-commercial
Truthful Use foundation for academic/evaluate functions solely)

To cite Boy’s transient account of it:

On McKenzie’s map, the Nandi bear illustration seems north of
Eldoret, on the Uasin Gishu Plateau [in western Kenya]. The illustration reveals
an enormous, dog-like quadruped, with quick hair, of a banded brown-and-yellow
color, and with very stocky limbs, a humped again, and a sharply pointed snout.
However what’s the Nandi bear doing right here? It’s, in spite of everything, the one creature
depicted on this map whose existence, even now, has not been verified by
science. Or was its inclusion only a mischievous prank on the map-maker’s half?
The legend of the Nandi bear will not be with out its pranksters…

That is very true. Nonetheless, tempering Boy’s
above assertion is one other one made by him when introducing his account of
McKenzie’s map:

The Nandi bear is pictured on a number of the outdated illustrated
wildlife maps of East Africa, printed through the Colonial period.

Briefly, there are different outdated maps out
there someplace that additionally comprise Nandi bear depictions, which in flip reduces
the chance that its included portrayal on the McKenzie instance was merely
a prank. For sure, I’ve sought to uncover such maps, however as but I’ve
not succeeded in doing so. Consequently, if anybody studying this ShukerNature
weblog article of mine is aware of of any or can supply related info regarding
them, I might vastly welcome particulars.

For probably the most complete modern-day
protection of the Nandi bear in printed type, make sure you take a look at my ebook Nonetheless In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors.

 

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