Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 20th, 2008
French cryptozoologist Michel Raynal is pointing to the “okapi” (?) of Tassili found in the book and bibliography of Bernard Heuvelmans, in his book On the Track of the Unknown Animals (Paris, Plon, 1955), referred to in the cave engravings as representing the okapi in Tassili.
The starting point of this assertion is an article of Robert Perret, who publishes a photograph of one of these engravings. This document is available: PERRET, Robert 1936 archaeological and ethnographic Research in Tassili of Ajjers (the Sahara central). Rupestral engravings of the Djaret Wadi, population and ruins of Iherir. Bulletin of the Company of the Africanists, 6 [ n° 1 ]: 41-64.
Tassili, at the time of these engravings (they are 4000 to 8000 years before present), was not arid like today, and sheltered a fauna of savanna. Raynal notes it is far from probable that it ever sheltered the okapi, an animal of the wet tropical forest. Perhaps the engraving represents another giraffid fossil, which has disappeared, but is part of another history to be explored.
Is there another okapi-like cryptid that has been overlooked? Could there be new okapi or new subspecies out there?