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Mountain sabre-tooth Coudray

The tigre de montagne depicted by Philippe Coudray.

Other names: Coq-djingé, coq-ninji, Ennedi mountain tiger, Ennedi tiger, gassingrâm, hadjel, mountain tiger, vossoko, wanjilanko
Country reported: Central African Republic,[1] Chad,[1] Ethiopia,[2] Senegal,[1] Sudan[2]

The tigre de montagne or coq-djingé (Yulu: "mountain tiger"[1]) is a cryptid felid reported mainly from the mountainous regions of Chad, described as a massive red-furred cat with long fangs. Cryptozoologists speculate it may be a living sabre-toothed cat, with which it has sometimes been identified by eyewitnesses.[1]

Cryptids classified as tigres de montagneEdit

DescriptionEdit

Mountain tiger carrying prey, Coudray

Depiction of a tigre de montagne carrying prey by Philippe Coudray.

The tigre de montagne is said to be larger than a lion, and usually has red fur with white stripes, but according to the Youlous people, there is also a melanistic or black variety. It has long, protruding teeth which extend past its lips, very long hair on its legs and paws, and is either tailless or has a very short tail.[1][3] The gassingrâm is additionally said to have small, dog-like ears, and eyes that glow like lamps during the night; and the hadjel is described as being maned.[1]

It lives in caves in the mountainous regions of Chad. A predatory animal, it is apparently extremely strong, and is capable of effortlessly picking up and carrying off prey as large as an antelope. It also has a terrific roar.[1][3] The hadjel is said to only eat small prey because the great size of its teeth makes it painful for it to open its mouth.[1]

The long hair on the tigre de montagne's legs and paws eradicates any tracks it leaves.[1][3]

There are few discrepancies in descriptions of the tigre de montagne, the gassingrâm, and the hadjel; all are described as large-fanged animals which live in mountains and have short tails. However, the hadjel's mane and its inability to comfortably open its jaws are not characteristics of either the tigre de montagne or the gassingrâm.

SightingsEdit

circa 1930Edit

In 1970, when Christian Le Noël showed his trackers images of various living and extinct cats, the trackers unhesitatingly selected the image of Smilodon as the tigre de montagne:[3]

"To convince me, they took me to a rock shelter cave where, according to them, there was a "mountain tiger" about thirty years ago (we were in 1970). My first tracker Djémé affirmed to have seen it with his father during a hunting party in these hills of Méllé. He and his father had managed to kill a horse antelope (300 kg) and at the time of the skinning, a "mountain tiger" had emerged from the bush to seize the trophy and had won without apparent effort, in front of both Terrified and dumbfounded hunters who had not asked for their rest and had returned empty-handed to the village."

1969Edit

Whilst approaching a large cavern in Chad alongside an elderly native game tracker, Christian Le Noël heard a "terrible" roar which he could not identify coming from within the cavern. His tracker identified the call as that of a tigre de montagne, and refused to go any closer to the cavern.[4]

TheoriesEdit

Black maned sabre-tooth Coudray

Depiction of a melanistic tigre de montagne by Philippe Coudray.

When Christian Le Noël showed his Youlous trackers colour drawings of felines including tigers, ocelots, cheetahs, snow leopards, cougars, and a prehistoric Smilodon, the trackers immediately pointed to the Smilodon as "their" mountain tiger. Le Noël notes that the trackers "cannot confuse two types of big cats, even if they have similar characteristics"; would have no way of knowing of the existence of a supposedly extinct animal like Smilodon; and points to the description of melanistic tigres de montagne as supporting evidence.[3] Philippe Coudray also notes that a short tail is a characteristic of sabre-toothed cats.[2]

Bernard Heuvelmans suggests that the tigre de montagne carries its prey into the mountains in order to escape from scavengers, as its large teeth would make it a slow eater; and that its sabre teeth could be used to dig up animals such as small rodents.[5][2] This would make it a sort of evolutionary counterpart to water lions, which Heuvelmans suggested are sabre-toothed cats which became adapted to an aquatic lifestyle to escape competition from other predators.

Lucien Blancou believed the tigre de montagne was the same animal as the mourou-ngou and the dilali (i.e. water lions), but Bernard Heuvelmans rejected this theory due to the reported differences in habitat and behaviour.[6]

Similar cryptidsEdit

Do you think the Tigre de montagne exists? If so, what do you think the Tigre de montagne is?
 
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The poll was created at 16:36 on January 16, 2019, and so far 1 people voted.
  • Water lions, sabre-toothed cat-like animals reported from Central Africa.
  • Water tigers, sabre-toothed cat-like animals reported from South America.

Further cryptozoological readingEdit

Notes and referencesEdit