Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology
Pygmy pygmy elephant
Category Proboscidea
Proposed scientific names
Other names White pygmy elephant
Country reported Democratic Republic of the Congo
First reported 1937
Prominent investigators Attilio Gatti
Chad Arment

The pygmy pygmy elephant was a cryptid proboscidean reported from the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Ituri Rainforest, allegedly an elephant smaller than the pygmy elephant (Loxodonta pumilio).[1]

Italian explorer Attilio Gatti, who investigated several cryptids over the course of eleven African expeditions, collected reports of these elephants, including from local administrator R. E. V. Gerard. He described them as "pygm[ies] among pygmies" in comparison to genuine pygmy elephants, which are also reported from the Ituri. These smaller elephants reportedly stood no more than 4 ft (120 cm) tall, and were whitish in colour. Henri Hackars, a future warden of Albert National Park, had allegedly been attacked by a small herd of white pygmy elephants during an exploration of the rainforest between the Epulu, Mava, M'bure, and Akaba Rivers, when he was the District Commissioner of Kibali-Ituri. His Mbuti guides fled, and Hackars was forced to take refuge up a tree until a rescue party arrived some hours later. Gatti heard this story from several of the oldest residents of Kibali-Ituri, but was unable to confirm it, as Hackars himself was not in the Congo during Gatti's expedition.[2]

Explorer Lewis Cotlow confirmed the existence of such stories in the Ituri.[3] In a May 1959 article for the magazine Go, travel writer K. Westcott Jones also reported observing a herd of "small white elephants" from a distance near Lake Kivu.[4]

See also[]

  • Pygmy elephant
  • Water elephant (taxidermy hoax)

Notes and references[]

  1. Arment, Chad "Profiles in Cryptozoology: Commander Attilio Gatti," BioFortean Notes, Vol. 6 (2018)
  2. Gatti, Attilio (1937) Great Mother Forest
  3. Cotlow, Lewis (1942) Passport to Adventure
  4. Jones, K. Westcott "The Congo," Go (May 1959)