Entzaeia-yawá Coudray

Reconstruction of the entzaeia-yawá by Philippe Coudray.

Other names: Water tiger
Country reported: Ecuador

The entzaeia-yawá is a cryptid felid reported from Ecuador and described by Spanish cryptozoologist Angel Morant Forés.[1] It is one of a large number of so-called water tigers reported from South America.[2]


Forés wrote that "it appears that water tigers show a wide range of colour morphs (black, white, brown and reddish). They are said to be nocturnal animals as big or somewhat bigger than a jaguar and with a bushy tail. Entzaeia-yawá is regarded as a most dangerous creature and attacks on humans are not rare."; it is regarded as a man-eater, and out of fear of it many Shuar people apparently avoid bathing in rivers alone. Its tail was compared to that of a cow. The informants described its paws as looking like ducks' feet, and identified the animal with images Forés showed them of otter and bear tracks.[1] Unlike many other water tigers, it is not described as having sabre-teeth.[3]



A man named Carlos Pichama claimed that a water tiger had killed his cousins wife during a fishing trip to the Mangusas River. After finding her missing, he:[1]

"located the spoor of a water-tiger which seemed to have been stalking his wife. Back in Suantza he told the story to her wife's parents who concluded that a water tiger had dragged her into the water. Next day, he and his brothers returned to the spot where the woman had been killed by the water tiger. The group of men exploded several charges of dynamite in the lake and saw the corpse of a long-haired reddish coloured animal of big size come at the surface".


A man named Juan Bautista Rivadeneira claimed to have seen a water tiger in 1989 at the mouth of the Jurumbaino river, a tributary of the Upano.[1]


Forés noted that sightings of the water tiger could be explained by giant otters, but wrote that this was unlikely, as the entzaeia-yawá is never described as having the white throat blotches characteristic of giant otters. Giant otters are also not man-eaters. "It should be also stressed that although my book on Ecuadorian mammals carried a picture of a giant otter none of my informants identified it with a water tiger."[1]

Philippe Coudray proposes it is a living sabre-toothed cat like other water tigers, and suggests that the lack of sabre-teeth could be explained by the fact that the entzaeia-yawá is only ever seen from a distance, as indicated by the lack of precision regarding its colour.[3]

Further cryptozoological readingEdit

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