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The Strange, Unknown Apes of Kenya

Reports of strange and unknown apes abound from all across the planet. There’s absolutely no doubt that the most famous of all such creatures is Bigfoot – which is also known as Sasquatch, as if you didn’t know that! You don’t even need to have the slightest interest in the subject of Bigfoot to know what it is said to be. That’s how incredibly  famous Bigfoot has become in the last half a century or so. But, Bigfoot is far from being alone. Australia has the hairy hominid known as the Yowie. China is said to be the home of a massive ape known as the Yeren (which may well be surviving pockets of a huge ape believed to have become extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago: Gigantopithecus blacki).

The Himalayas are the domain of the Abominable Snowman – which is also known as the Yeti. And, Sumatra is the lair of the Orang-pendek, which, personally-speaking, I think will be identified in the near future. Although, I sincerely hope none will be captured, taken from their environments, and paraded for all to see in King Kong-style; that would be a major tragedy. In the last few years there have been some extremely credible, close-up encounters with this “Littlefoot”-type creature. Moving on, even the U.K. has its equivalents. They include the Man-Monkey, the Beast of Bolam, and the Shug Monkey. It must be stressed, though, that the vast majority of all the U.K. cases on record are dominated by paranormal aspects.

So much for the well-known cryptid apes in our midst. But, what about the much less well-known ones? There are actually more than a few of them. For the purpose of this article, however, I’m going to focus my attention solely on a couple of strange creatures that are said to live and thrive in certain portions of the Republic of Kenya, which is located in East Africa. Indeed, Kenya can boast of being home to at least two kinds of unidentified, and unacknowledged, animals.

Mount Kilimanjaro is, according to local lore and legend, the dwelling of the small Wa-mbilikimo. It’s a hairy man-beast with a head of flowing locks – something which, interestingly, has been described in some of the Orang-pendek reports from Sumatra. The man-beasts of Kenya’s Mau Escarpment, which runs along Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, sound very much like the Wa-mbilikimo. Short and hairy, they seem to possess profoundly human traits, despite their primitive, animal-like appearances. This is made clear by their reported use of rudimentary tools and fire, and their odd obsession with herding cattle.

One of the most significant accounts  came from a man named Roger Courtney. He was a big game hunter. You know them: they’re those guys whose dicks no longer work properly, so they try and demonstrate their macho side by killing endangered animals (often by sneaking up on them). It isn’t cool and neither are those scum who get their kicks in distinctly warped fashion. But, I digress. Back to the story.

In his 1940 book, A Greenhorn in Africa, Courtney related a number of accounts of sightings of, and confrontations with, such creatures. Courtney said that one of his sources “…went on to tell how his own father, who was driving his sheep to pasture on the slopes of Mount Longonot, fell into the hands of these gnomes when he went into a cave, following the trail of blood left by one of his sheep that had been stolen. He was stunned from behind, and when he came round he found he was surrounded by strange little creatures.”

Courtney added that his source then related his father’s words as follows. He said  they were “…lower even than those little people of the forests for, though they had no tails that I could see, they were as the monkeys that swing in the forest trees. Their skins were white, with the whiteness of the belly of a lizard, and their faces and bodies were covered with long, black hair.”

Might some of those strange creatures from Kenya still exist? Such a thing is not at all impossible, given that Courtney’s book was published less than 80 years ago. Maybe it’s time for an expedition or several. Who’s up for the challenge?

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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