But for the next hour nothing further happened the

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But for the next hour nothing further happened. The foliage moved all around them, but they saw nothing. Then shortly before midnight the electrified perimeter fence erupted in sparks. Munro swung his gun around and fired; Ross hit the switch for the night lights and the camp was bathed in deep red. “Did you see it?” Munro said. “Did you see what it was?” They shook their heads. Nobody had seen anything. Elliot checked his tapes; he had only the harsh rattle of gunfire, and the sounds of sparks. No breathing. The rest of the night passed uneventfully. DAY 10: ZINJ June 22, 1979
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183 1. Return THE MORNING OF JUNE 22 WAS FOGGY AND GRAY. Peter Elliot awoke at 6 A.M. to find the camp already up and active. Munro was stalking around the perimeter of the camp, his clothing soaked to the chest by the wet foliage. He greeted Elliot with a look of triumph, and pointed to the ground. There, on the ground, were fresh footprints. They were deep and short, rather triangular-shaped, and there was a wide space between the big toe and the other four toes—as wide as the space between a human thumb and fingers. “Definitely not human,” Elliot said, bending to look closely. Munro said nothing. “Some kind of primate.” Munro said nothing. “It can’t be a gorilla,” Elliot finished, straightening. His video communications from the night before had hardened his belief that gorillas were not involved. Gorillas did not kill other gorillas as Amy’s mother had been killed. “It can’t be a gorilla,” he repeated. “It’s a gorilla, all right,” Munro said. “Have a look at this.” He pointed to another area of the soft earth. There were four indentations in a row. “Those are the knuckles, when they walk on their hands.” “But gorillas,” Elliot said, “are shy animals that sleep at night and avoid contact with men.” “Tell the one that made this print.” “It’s small for a gorilla,” Elliot said. He examined the fence nearby, where the electrical short had occurred the night before. Bits of gray fur clung to the fence. “And gorillas don’t have gray fur.” “Males do,” Munro said. “Silverbacks.” “Yes, but the silverback coloring is whiter than this. This fur is distinctly gray.” He hesitated. “Maybe it’s a kakundakari.” Munro looked disgusted.
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184 The kakunidakari was a disputed primate in the Congo. Like the yeti of the Himalayas and bigfoot of North America, he had been sighted but never captured. There were endless native stories of a six-foot-tall hairy ape that walked on his hind legs and otherwise behaved in a manlike fashion. Many respected scientists believed the kakundakari existed; perhaps they remembered the authorities who had once denied the existence of the gorilla. In 1774, Lord Monboddo wrote of the gorilla that “this wonderful and frightful production of nature walks upright like man; is from 7 to 9 feet high. . . and amazingly strong; covered with longish hair, jet black over the body, but longer on the head; the face more like the human than the Chimpenza, but the complexion black; and has no tail.”
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