The Emela-ntouka has been an unknown animal of some confusion in Africa. A few chroniclers have felt it was merely another named cryptid representing the sightings of the Mokele-mbembe. But as revealed by a carving (below) seen here for the first time earlier this year, it appears to be a beast unlike the saurapod-like Mokele-mbembe.
On page 219 of one of my recent field guides, written with Patrick Huyghe, we noted, among several different kinds of alleged “dinosaurs” in Africa, “one animal is called by locals the emela ntouka, or ‘killer of elephants.’ The semi-aquatic Emela-ntouka is described as more rhinoceros-like than the Mokele-mbembe, with a single horn that protrudes from its head.”
In 1981, Dr. Roy Mackal while searching the Congo for the Mokele-mbembe, collected accounts of these Emela-ntouka. The natives in the northwest region of the Likoula (per the M’boshi and French, but Likouala in most English text) swamp told him that this animal would gore elephants with its single horn. Mackal initially considered that Emela-ntouka might be a Centrosaurus (”pointed lizard”) of the Ceratopsian family (formerly the Monoclonius). But he also noted the pygmies did not report a neck frill, which he would have expected on a ceratopsian.
I have long speculated in writing, and wondered aloud if there might be an unknown new subspecies or species of aquatic rhinoceros in the Cameroon-Congo area, captured in the folklore of the Emela-ntouka.
Troubling in the identification has been the long tail seen on the Emela-ntouka. Rhinos have short tails. Disturbing to the ceratopsian school has been the lack of a neck frill, and the dubious survival of dinosaurs into modern times.