On 31st of October the CFZ 2010 expedition leaves England. They will be exploring the Garo Hills in Northern India in search of the mande-burung or Indian yeti. The five-man team consists of team leader Adam Davies, Dr Chris Clark, Dave Archer, field naturalist Jonathan McGowan, and cryptozoologist Richard Freeman.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

OLL LEWIS: Kallana, The Cryptid Dwarf Elephant

People of the nomadic Kani tribes of India's Western Gnats have long talked of an animal they call Kallana. According to the indigenous people there are two morphologically distinct groups of elephants in the Peppara forest range, the first of which is the common Indian elephant. But the other is a dwarf variety they call the Kallana. There has been much debate as to whether the Kallana exist at all and expeditions to the area to search for the creatures have come back empty-handed, as many expeditions that search for cryptids do. The thing is, despite what some people would have you believe, finding an animal known only from anecdotal evidence is not as easy as simply pushing a pin in a map and saying “We'll search here, come on lads! To the Kongamato-mobile!” Hidden animals tend to be hidden for a reason and to discover such a creature if it exists one has to have the pure dumb luck of being in the right place at the right time, no matter how good a tracker you are.

The Kani people were, despite increasing scepticism from some nay-sayers, quite adamant that the Kallana exist because several of them had seen and observed the diminutive elephants with their own eyes. According to the Kani the Kallana grow to no more than about 1.5 metres in height (5ft), have long hairy tails that reach to the ground and avoid Indian elephant groups never mixing with them and often going out of their way to avoid encountering them. The peculiar pygmy pachyderms are said to live on a diet of grass, bamboo leaves, tubers and bark and be able to climb steep rocky inclines that larger elephants would have great difficulty with.

It remains to be seen whether the Kallana are a wholly different species of elephant from the Indian elephant. They are most likely just a different variety that has been fairly genetically isolated. But one thing is looks likely... They do exist. A photograph was taken of one of the creatures in, according to conflicting reports, either 2005 or 2010 in the Peppara Wildlife sanctuary.

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