Aug 05

The Dingonek, West Africa’s “Jungle Walrus”

The Dingonek, West Africa’s “Jungle Walrus”
By Sara Fawley

9 to 18 feet long, covered in scales with a scorpion-like tail filled with deadly poison the Dingonek is one of the more fearsome cryptids. Also known as the “Jungle Walrus” due to the huge canines protruding from it’s mouth that is in a square head with a large horn protruding from the center of it. This semi-aquatic creature is said to inhabit the creeks, rivers and lakes of Western Africa primarily in the area that was formerly known as Zaire. This creature is said to be extremely vicious and territorial. It is claimed that it hunts crocodiles, hippos, monkeys, humans or basically anything that ventures into it’s territory.

The most noted sighting of the creature was in 1907 by explorer John Alfred Jordan who is said to have shot at but not killed the creature in the River Maggori in Kenya. The story goes that Jordan was hunting along the shores of the river with native Lumbwa guides. His guides came and told him they had just seen a Dingonek in the river and took him to the location. The natives described it at a cross between a sea serpent, a whale and a leopard. Jordan described it as being 14 to 15 feet long with a head as big as a lioness but shaped and marked like a leopard, two long white fangs sticking straight down from it’s up jaw, back as broad as a hippo and scaled like an armadillo. He also stated that it had reptilian like claws. Being frightened, Jordan shot the creature behind one of it’s ears. The beast sprang up out of the water, standing up on it’s tail. Jordan and the Lumbwa ran in fear for their lives.

Jordan’s story was recounted in a book by Edgar Bronson in 1910. There are many word of mouth tales that have been passed down for generations among the natives of Western Africa and to this day there are claims of sightings. If it were just the stories this would be easy to put in the category of myth or wives tale except there is one curious side note. In a cave at Brackfontein Ridge in South Africa there is said to be a painting of an unknown creature that fits the description of the Dingonek to a tee right down to the walrus like tusks.

So is Dingonek a real creature or just a myth passed down through local native tribes to keep the children away from the river banks? Is it a mis-identification of a known creature? Is it several myths and legends put together? Since there has not really been any investigation into the creature that I have found we cannot be sure. One thing is for certain, the locals of the region believe.


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Sara Fawley

Sara Fawley

Hello my name is Sara Fawley. I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca Oct 1965. I lived there until I was 19, then moved with my now ex-husband to Texas where I lived for the next 25 years. I have two grown sons who are married and have lives and families of their own. My current husband and I now live in a small town in Arkansas with our dachshund Shabar. I owned and antiques and collectibles shop but closed it down in September 2013 after having a heart attack. I still buy and sell antiques and collectibles and make handmade natural gemstone jewelry which we sell at shows and festivals. I don't recall ever not knowing that there was more than just us out there. My first experience happened when I was a young child and was visited by my godfather "Grandpa Clyde" at the time of his death and for three weeks after that. I have seen one other full bodied apparition in my life and had several other minor experiences that left me scratching my head.I am not an investigator but have a huge thirst for knowledge. I am always looking up this or that legend, myth or story I hear or sometimes I just have random thoughts and look them up to see if anyone else thinks the same way. I am very analytically minded and always like to get to the bottom of things.
Sara Fawley

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