The Mngwa (translates as the strange one) or Nunda is said to be a extremely large , ferocious, grey striped cat , that lives in the East African country of
In the early 1900s, British official Captain William Hichens saw and wrote about the mangled bodies of several natives that were said to have been attacked by the legendary monster; the victims were found clutching tufts of grey fur in their hands. Native hunters who regularly chased lions were said to be frightened to pursue the Mngwa. Hichens' reported that he sent the "grey, matted fur" to headquarters to be identified. It was said to be "a fur and not a hair as you state: probably cat." .In 1937, Hichens wrote that the attacks had begun again:
Not long ago a man was brought in to me at Mchinga on a litter and terribly mauled by some great beast. He said it was a mngwa ... One well-known hunting-song tells of the Simba [lion], Nsui [leopard], and the Mngwa all in one verse, plainly showing that there is no confusion in the native mind between these three great carnivores.
In 1938, an influential discussion on the Mngwa appeared in the world famous British scientific journal Discovery.
The story then appeared in Frank W. Lane's 1954 issue of Nature Parade, about Patrick Bowen, a hunter who said he had tracked the Mngwa.
Patrick Bowen said a Mngwa had carried off a young boy, and that he and another man followed the tracks of the animal. "The spoor we were following appeared to be that of a leopard as large as the largest lion.". Bowen also noted that it was possible that some of the attacks attributed to the chemosit or Nandi Bear were the work of the Mngwa.
Bernard Heuvelmans, in his book “ On the Track of Unknown Animals”, suggests the theory that the mngwa may be an abnormally-coloured specimen of some known species. He later ,in a 1986 Cryptozoology article, proposed that it may be a larger subspecies of the golden cat (Profelis aurata).
I came across this urban legend but have no idea where the story comes from: (perhaps someone knows and could post a comment if they do,please?):
Going to relieve the midnight watch, an oncoming native constable one night found his comrade missing. After a search he discovered him, terribly mutilated, underneath a stall. The man ran to his European officer, who went with me at once to the market. We found it obvious that the askari had been attacked and killed by some animal--a lion, it seemed.
In the victim's hand was clenched a matted mass of greyish hair, such as would come out of a lion's mane were it grasped and torn in a violent fight. But in many years no lion had been known to come into the town.
We were puzzling the problem at the boma next morning when the old Arab Liwali or native governor of the district hurried into our office, with two scared-looking men at his heels. Out late the previous night, they said, they had slunk by the market-place lest the askari should see them and think them evil-doers; and as they crept by they were horrified to see a huge brindled cat, the great mysterious nunda which is feared in every village on the coast, leap from the shadows and bear the policeman to the ground.
The Liwali, a venerable and educated man, assured us that within his memory the nunda had visited the village several times. It was an animal, not a lion or a leopard, but a huge cat as large as a donkey and marked like a tabby. I had heard this tale, and put it down as silly superstition, but the Liwali's assertion put a different light on things...
...That same night another constable was torn to pieces, and clutched in his hands and scattered about the buckles of his uniform was more of that grey, matted fur...