Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 22nd, 2011
Remember the Bhootbilli of India, seen in November 2010? Is this a similar story?
This cryptid story out of India last month is so mysterious, I’m not even sure what kind of mystery animal they are talking about. A vague notion is it is a cryptid feline, due to the only clue, the description of its face.
Manganam is in Kerala, which is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of southwest India. Kerala is a popular tourist destination for its backwaters, yoga, Ayurvedic treatments and tropical greenery. The Kerala’s Western Ghats are rich in wildlife (see here), including known species of Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus), Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca), Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), and grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura).
BTW, a tehsildar (mentioned in the news item) is a revenue administrative officer in India in charge of obtaining taxes from a tehsil, an administrative division of the country. In America, we would usually call someone in this role a “tax collector,” unless you live in a rural area, where you might use the term, “revenuer,” (especially tied to obtaining taxes on the illegal production and distribution of alcohol).
Here is the article, thanks to Paul Cropper:
A mysterious animal stalking local fear
KOTTAYAM: The people in Manganam apparently fear some mysterious animal would pounce on them anytime. This despite round-the-clock vigil by the locals, and the efforts by the police and Forest Department officials to assuage their apprehensions. A few days ago, it is said, the mysterious animal destroyed the cage in a house where fowls were kept.
“But till 6.30 pm on Wednesday [23 November 2011], nobody has reported spotting the animal,” said Moncy P. Alexander, the tehsildar, who is in charge of the control room set up on Wednesday [23 November 2011] after the state revenue minister ordered that it be set up. The minister visited the spot on Tuesday [22 November 2011] and led the search operations himself for a while.
Forest guard Joseph, who is heading the operations of the Forest Department, said he was not in a position to say anything about the animal since he had not seen it. “We are conducting search operations in Ashramam area in Manganam. It is said the animal destroyed the cage in a house where fowls were kept,” he said. He also said that one more cage to trap the animal would be brought here on Thursday [24 November 2011].
Vijayapuram panchayat president N Jeevakumar said the visit by the minister had brought some relief to the people. “The search operations have been stepped up after his visit,” Jeevakumar said.
There is no dearth of stories doing the rounds here about the animal.
“Those who have seen the animal say it has got the face of a cat and a long body,” Jeevakumar said. He also narrated the story of a dog which apparently had stopped barking ever since it came face to face with the animal. “Today morning, around 3am, some unusual sound was heard near the Christian Hermitage here. Apparently the animal was here, but vanished as people came out. But ever since, the dog here has stopped barking,” said Jeevakumar.
The curiosity factor has drawn many people to the area. Many come, some in fun, and even join the search operations. But for the local residents, who have been spending sleepless nights, the fear is real.
Source: TNN Nov 24, 2011