Artistic rendition of an adjule
The Adjule, also known as Kelb-el-khela, is a canine cryptid, claimed to inhabit the North African region, especially the areas in and around Sahara Desert in Mauritania. Reported primarily by the nomadic Tuaregs, and Théodore Monod in 1928, the adjule is said to be a totally unknown canine which takes the form of a dog or wolf, but today is described as isolated population of African wild dog. Some alternative names are kelb el khela ("bush dog") for the male and tarhsît for the female. However, despite a continuing firm belief in its existence due to urban myths, this cryptid has since been debunked and its sightings attributed to wild canines mistaken for the adjule, such as the African wild dog which is now extinct in certain areas of the Sahara. There is one unconfirmed sighting of a canid-like animal from the coastal area of Mauritania in 1992; hunters living in the coastal areas of the Western Sahara, to the north of Mauritania, described an animal resembling a wild dog, which hunted in packs. However, this was not confirmed for Lycaon pictus species (IUCN/CSG, 1997).
Appearances in fiction
- Théodore Monod, "Sur la présence du Sahara du Lycaon pictus (Temm.) (Résultats scientifiques de la Mission Saharienne Augiéras-Draper)," Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 53 (1928): 262–264.
- Woodroffe, R., Ginsberg, J.R. and Macdonald, D.W. (1997) The African wild dog: status survey and conservation action plan - IUCN Canid Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
- Eberhart, George M., Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology, 2 vols (ABC-Clio: Santa Barbara, 2002).