What Was–Or Is–The Terror Beast?
This story hearkens back to the legend of the Beast of Gevaudon, in more ways that one. One of the prominent theories regarding the Gallic Beast, or “La Bete”, that menaced the southern French countryside in the late 1700s and killed somewhere between 60 and 200 people, was either an escaped–or deliberately released–hyena. Likewise, authorities suggest the creature that terrorized native citizens of the Dowa district of the African nation of Malawi in the early 2000s was a rabid hyena, even though it is unlikely that a hyena, even one afflicted with rabies, could have preyed on so many over such a wide geographical area without being captured or killed.
The body count for the Terror Beast, as it was called, was significantly less than for the Beast of Gevaudon. The former attacked some sixteen people and killed three. The injuries suffered by the survivors, though, were horrific. One woman had her face torn off. Victims lost legs and hands. One was blinded. In the case of those killed, the bodies were partially eaten and the skulls were crushed. One of the victims was a three-year-old child. Could a hyena, even a rabid one, manage to inflict such damage?
Thousands of villagers fled to urban areas to escape the Terror Beast, and many among them believed the creature to be supernatural in nature. They maintained that it was NOT a hyena–and these are people who know very well what a hyena looks like. So what WAS the Terror Beast, and what became of it?