Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology
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Velichko's hairy monitor

Impression of the hairy monitor, lacking the bushy tail, by M. A. Goldenkov.

Category Ultra-mysterious beast
Proposed scientific names
Other names
Country reported Mali
First reported 1977
Prominent investigators

Velichko's hairy monitor was a cryptid reported from central Mali, where it was allegedly known to the local Bambara people. According to Russian agricultural scientist Evgeny Velichko, who learned of the animal while working for UNESCO in Mali, several Bambara people living around Katibougou claimed to have seen it.[1]

In 1966, while travelling from Katibougou to Bamakao, Velichko, who was then unfamiliar with local reports of the animal, saw what looked like a large monitor lizard emerge from a ravine on the right side of the road. He slowed his car, and was able to watch the animal for about five minutes before it disappeared into another ravine on the opposite side of the road. In general form, the two-metre animal resembled a desert monitor (Varanus griseus), which he had observed in the Karakum Desert, but it was covered in "clearly visible" chocolate-brown hair, of a woolly consistency, around four centimetres long, as well as a long and bushy tail like that of a fox. Velichko, who admitted that he was no expert on African fauna, described his sighting to the magazine Vokrug Sveta, hoping that a reader with more African experience could identify it.[1] Some Russian cryptozoologists regard it as a possible "living fossil" descendent of Permian non-mammalian therapsids.[2]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Velichko, Evgeny "Soobshchayet o Skazochnom Zhivotnom?," Vokrug Sveta, Vol. 43, No. 1 (January 1977)
  2. Goldenkov, M. A. (2007) Entsiklopediya Chudovishch: v Poiskakh Zhivykh Monstrov
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