OK, so you're in Nepal, right, and you hear about huge elephants-- "giant elephants", right? So you (And your name is Sir John Blashford-Snell, 'cause only Knights of the Realm do this kind of stuff) wander through a remote valley in the Bardia region of western Nepal (as if there are any other kind there), looking around, searching for some elephants. You'll never guess, but it turns out that in 1992, you see and photograph two "Giant" bull elephants.

You gotta be kidding me.

But you're not, and they have footprints measuring 22.5 inches across and are 11 feet 3 inches tall at the shoulders--way bigger than the biggest recorded specimen of the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus. And, they have two very large domes on their foreheads, and "a distinctive nasal bridge". Normal Asian elephants don't have these, but an extinct species of primitive elephant, the Stegodont, does.

Coincidence? I think not.

But, the last Stegodont, a relative of both the modern African and Asian elephants and the wooly mammoth, supposedly died more than a million years ago.

Of course, intrepid Canadian paleontologist Dr. Clive Coy, and Snell (you), guessed that these monstrous elephants might, in fact, be Stegodonts. Current scientific theories steer away from this conjecture, instead pointing to the isolated valleys in which these giant elephants live, as well as the tendency for inbred animals to develop strange appearances-- witness Prince Charles or half the graduating class of West Virgina University.

Apparently, after further research, the only real source on the Internet (and not coincidentally the one I used) is an article written in 1995 by Ben S. Roesch, a student at the University of Guelph in Canada, as well as a published author and something of an authority on cryptozoology. He is on the skeptical side though.
  • http://web.ukonline.co.uk/bransty/books/mammoth.html
    Also, Sir John wrote a book about the quest--"Mammoth Hunt", which includes the pictures. You can see the cover and read a blurb at
  • http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~bz050/HomePage.gne.html
    For your convenience, I have listed the sources Mr. Roesch used for article as well:
  • Coleman, Loren. 1993. "Crypto-Zoo News," Strange Magazine , Fall-Winter, p. 28-29
  • Shuker, Karl P.N. 1993. The Lost Ark . London: Harper Collins
  • Shuker, Karl P.N. 1995. Personal communication, August 19.
  • Shuker, Karl P.N. 1995. Personal communication, October 23.
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