Friday, 17 May 2013

Pygmy elephant of Spanish Guinea was "incarnation of the devil"

The translation from Spanish of the 1962 report of a "pygmy elephant" in "Spanish Guinea" (now Equatorial Guinea) is in. My translator felt that it had been badly translated into Spanish from another language - at a guess, I would say French.

The report, from La vida animal en la Guinea EspaƱola (Aurelio Basilio, Instituto de Estudios Africanos, Madrid, 1962) says the pygmy elephant of Spanish Guinea was known by the "natives" as Esemasas, in order to distinguish it from the common one [common elephant], Nsok." Like alleged pygmy elephants from other parts of West Africa, "They consider the 'pygmy elephant' more fierce and scary than the larger ones; and this is why it is so difficult to kill them, and this has led them to see the 'pygmy elephant' as an incarnation of the devil, and they think that when a Esamasas sees a hunter pointing at him with a lethal weapon, it suddenly leaves its elephant shape and transforms into a human."

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