When the 200kg animal was first encountered by Congolese villagers they feared it was a “devil” or a “monster”. Six years on, the “Chimporilla” has eluded classification because the world’s top primatologists are split on whether it's a gorilla, chimpanzee, hybrid, or some strange new creature.

One conservationist has declared it's confounding mystery similar to the legendary North American "Bigfoot".

Kisangani University’s Dr Casimir Nebesse was part of a team that retrieved the Chimporilla's lifeless body from a tree and collected it for scientific research in 2018. He had been contacted by villagers who claimed to have killed it in self-defence. “They told us this animal had made trouble. It destroyed the crops, banana plants, cassava, then it began to attack the population of this village," he told Yahoo News Australia.

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