The Nandi Bear
This cryptid doesn’t get the press it deserves. I blame it on the name. While a silly or cute name CAN work for a monster–MoMo the Missouri Monster, for example–it can just as easily work against it. “The Nandi Bear.” Sounds like a stuffed toy, a character in a cartoon. One of the Care Bears, even. And while the Nandi are a tribal people in Kenya, the word rhymes with “candy,” and when you see the word “bear” used in conjunction with it you immediately think of a teddy bear. Cute and cuddly. Certainly nothing frightening.
If it exists, the Nandi Bear is anything BUT cute and cuddly. Nor is it a bear. Eyewitness descriptions most resemble a giant hyena. Maybe a prehistoric Hyaenodon. In terms of its size, the latter is a good match. And the Nandi Bear is said to particularly like to eat human brains. It will hunt and kill humans and eat nothing BUT the brains out the skulls. Cute and cuddly, right?
“Experts,” i.e. people in classrooms and laboratories, as far removed from the Kenyan bush as they can get, say that all attacks attributed to the Nandi Bear were in fact committed by lions. But if a people live among large, dangerous carnivores already, lions, leopards, and hyenas, why would they need to make up a pastiche monster to scare the kiddies? Does that make sense? And these people aren’t just mistaking regular hyenas for something else, either. They know what hyenas look like. They maintain that the Nandi Bear is way too big to be a normal hyena. Also, normal hyenas don’t seek out human prey in particular, as the Nandi Bear is said to do. What is it, then? A surviving Hyaenodon? A new, undiscovered species? Or something supernatural in origin?