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Beast of Gevaudan: Demon wolf or what? Your thoughts!!!

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posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 09:16 PM
I was in the Middle East (Lebanon) a year ago and heard a story about some animal attaking cattle and people. They called it sheeb. After laughing at everybody who mentioned the story of the sheeb, "something" attaked a person I knew very well. People descibed the animal/beast as a very large animal (almost as big as a tiger), and that looks like a huge wolf with tiger traits. They said it was very smart and hard to hunt. After 6 months of terror, they were able to kill it, but I did not get to see it (I had left the country).
I did some research and discovered in an Arabic Encyclopedia that a Sheeb is a cross between a wolf and a hyena. It is described as a very aggressive animal, stronger than a wolf and smarter than a hyena. It is said that the cross is very rare and hard to replicate. The similarities between what is described in this forum and the pictures of La Bete make me believe that it must be the same animal.

posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 12:47 AM
I've always thought it was just some big ugly wolf

posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 12:59 PM
Could you post a link to a site with some information? When I googled it I got some pics of a cat and pages about genealogy.

posted on Jul, 28 2006 @ 09:32 PM
Hi everybody.

I am sorry for dragging an old topic up, but I just happened to be looking around at sites regarding The Beast of Gévaudan (a.k.a. la Bête), and I stumbled upon this thread. I figured I may as well put my two cents in, because I do have a theory as to what the beast may have been.

First a quote from earlier:

Dont think its a dog mix, dogs dont get anywhere that big!

Dogs don't get anywhere that big (with one exception), and neither do wolves, but dog-wolf hybrids do get that big. When dogs and wolves interbreed, they frequently show a trait known as hybrid vigor. This means that the hybrid is much bigger in size than either a dog or a wolf. Here is an example from (The Urban Legends Page) showing a photo of a wolf-dog that was shot in Pennsilvania a few of years ago.

Please note that the wolf-dog (105 pounds) is the same size as the stag lying beside it. This is smaller than the animal shot by De Beauterne in 1766, but is the same size as the one shot by Jean Chastel the following year. In other words, a wolf-dog can be as big as la Bête. Wolf-dog hybrids are also notorious, because many of them retain their predetory instincts, from their wolf side, but have no fear of man, from their dog side, and there have been many documented cases of wolf-dogs attacking children. As a result, owning a wolf-dog is illegal in many areas.

For another example of hybrid vigor, this time of a lion-tiger hybrid, also from

This liger (lion father, tiger mother) is not full grown, but is already larger than both his parents.

The idea I like the most is the war dog theory. This the the idea that either some antisocial person intentionally trained a large dog (or group of dogs) to attack people, especially women and children, or that somebody, through mistreatment, caused a large dog (or group of dogs) to develop an extreme hatred of people. There were reports of the beast running through flocks of sheep in order to get at the women and children tending them, which does not make sense if the beast was acting out of hunger, but does makes sense if it was acting out of intense hatred or attack training.

If hunger was a motivation, then a large feral dog would also fit the bill quite nicely, since a dog would not fear man like a wolf would, and would most likely go after women and children, which is what the beast did.

There happens to be a breed of dog that would make an ideal candidate for la Bête. It is a very old breed, dating back to the time of Rome. It is large, swift and powerful. It was bred to hunt down and wrestle with large game, including wolves and wild boar. It also happens to match the appearance of la Bête in drawings of the period, and the descriptions of the beast almost perfectly.

I am afraid I am going to have to cut this post short before revealing what I think the dog is. I am running afoul of the 4000 character maximum, which has less than 1000 characters left, and it is not enough for me to fully explain what I want to say. I also think it would be fun to keep you in suspense for a little while.

I do not want to double post, so if you want me to finish, please add a post saying so, and I will continue.

posted on Jul, 29 2006 @ 08:14 PM
Please, finish!

I have no idea what the Beast was. That photo you supplied of the Wolf-Dog hybrid seems to be the best canidate, though. Man, if I could train it, I'd want one of those Wolf-Dog's as a companion/protection of my future kids!

As it is, that couldn't be done, but I'd like to see someone try and break into my house and meet one of those in the hallway!

posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 08:33 AM
well from what i have been reading on the web
the gray wolf can get to 175+ pounds
and over 4 and a half feet long not including the tail.
The tail can be close to 2 feet long as well

over all you have 6 and a half feet of creature.
Someone said earlier in the post that what if it was just a
large wolf say one of these at the max would be one big creature would
make the one in the picture with the deer look small if it were say
200 pounds and 5 feet plus a 2 foot tail.

I like the idea of a strange creature unknown to science.
but (there is always a but) most likely it was an abnormal size wolf with
people misidentifing what they saw cause of the fear factor and with all the deaths caused by something viciuos the legend grew.

posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 01:05 PM
If I had to guess what exactly the beast was, I would say it was a liger. Ligers grow to immense sizes since they do not have growth inhibitor genes (the gene is present in female lions and male tigers) since a liger is created with a male lion and female tiger.



posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 12:49 PM
Thanks for your enthusiasm.

My theory is actually a cluster of three closely related theories, which go as follows:

  1. La Bête was a large dog or wolf dog (or group) that was trained to attack people, and released intentionally, possibly for political reasons.

  2. La Bête was a large dog or wolf dog (or group) that was trained as a pit fighter, and escaped.

  3. La Bête was a poorly treated pet (or group) that escaped.

(I will probably have to post again to support the above idea, because I want to dedicate this post to postulating about the animal type. I may create a web page regarding it, so that I may explain things more clearly than I can here.)

I would like to put forth the idea the la Bête was a member of a very old breed of dogs that has been around since before the time of Christ. The Romans used this breed to fight against lions in their arenas, and were afraid enough to declare that these dogs could only be transported in cages. They also used them as war dogs. At the time of the attacks, this breed was rare outside of Ireland, so most French would not have recognized it (very important!). It is the world's largest dog.

I would like to propose that the Beast of Gévaudan was an Irish wolfhound, or possibly a wolf / wolfhound mix.

Take a look at these period drawings of la Bête:

Now take a look at a wolfhound:

Now let's compare the wolfhound with period descriptions la Bête:

La Bête: Described as the size of a cow (probably exagerated) or the size of a donkey.

Wolfhound: Size of cow? No. Size of donkey? Yes. (32 - 36" at shoulder)

La Bête: Variously described as black, grey, red, or combo

Wolfhound: Comes in all these colours

La Bête: Long legs

Wolfhound: Long legs

La Bête: Deep chest

Wolfhound: Deep chest

La Bête: Long toes with long claws (possibly hoof like)

Wolfhound: Long toes with long claws

La Bête: Short shaggy hair

Wolfhound: Short shaggy hair

La Bête: Long tail with tuft

Wolfhound: Long tail with shaggy hair.

La Bête: Swift runner

Wolfhound: Close relative of the greyhound, is a swift runner

La Bête: Greyhound like nose or pig like nose

Wolfhound: Greyhound like nose, could be interpreted as pig like

La Bête: Killed only during daylight hours

Wolfhound: A sighthound. Can only hunt during daylight hours

La Bête: Small rounded ears or erect pointed ears

Wolfhound: In natural state? Yes (former). No (latter). If ears are docked? Yes (either one).

La Bête: Can leap long distances

Wolfhound: Can leap long distances

La Bête: Usually attacked the victim's face, head and neck, then ripped the body appart

Wolfhound: Dogs trained as attack dogs (war dogs) or pit fighters, almost always attack the face, head, and neck, then tear their victims appart

I'm out of space! Please post if you want me to continue.

[edit on 31-7-2006 by Boingo the Clown]

posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 04:45 PM
Yes please continue. That breed looks promising for its size to be part of this.
Think about a cross breed between that and the gray wolf it could end up

posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 08:26 PM

Originally posted by Illyrian
If I had to guess what exactly the beast was, I would say it was a liger. Ligers grow to immense sizes since they do not have growth inhibitor genes (the gene is present in female lions and male tigers) since a liger is created with a male lion and female tiger.

I seriously doubt it was a liger, or a tigon for that matter. These hybrids are extremely EXTREMELY rare in the wild, and only really occur in captivity. Also, presuming one did escape it is unlikely that the reign of terror which lasted for quite a while was caused by one as they (like all hybrid animals) are unable to breed.

posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 10:35 PM
Dracmoor: You just mentioned something that I planned to bring up eventually as my "X-factor" in this whole theory.

Imagine, if you will, a wolf / wolfhound cross displaying hybrid vigor. We would now be talking about a dog with mixed wolf and wolfhound features that stands four feet tall at the shoulder, weighing 150 pounds, possibly more, that is fast, agile, and very powerful. It has all the predatory instincts of a wolf, but no fear of man, thanks to its dog heritage. If it was left at just that, we would certainly have something dangerous, but now imagine that someone has trained it as a war dog, or as a pit fighting dog. Now we would have something truly monsterous on our hands! Imagine that running around the French coutryside!

Let's set aside the wolf / wolfhound hybrid idea for now however, and think of just a normal wolfhound.

At the time of the attacks, wolfhounds did exist in Europe, including France, but they were fairly rare. Only aristocracy, or other privileged people, would have had them. Few other people would ever have seen them. If a large and unusual looking dog like a wolfhound was suddenly seen in the countryside, there would be very few people who could recognize one, especially in a rural area like the Gévaudan region. It could only have been seen as a monster. The fact that it was killing people would probably serve to confirm this identification.

With only 2500 characters left, I will quickly run through the scenerios I brought up in my last post.

First scenerio:

Imagine that somebody intentionally raised a wolfhound as a war dog, and sent it out to kill people.


The simplest reason might be that the guy is psychotic. That's an easy explanation.

or ...

... it could have been for political reasons.

The year is 1764. The French revolution is only 25 years away, and the Gévaudan region is not fully part of France, despite being smack dab in the centre of it. There are plenty of people who could potentially benefit from having a monster running around, and the mass hysteria associated with it.

The French government could have benefited. If a monster was set loose, it might encourage the region to finnish joining itself to France. If this was the plan, then it backfired. The inept attempts to kill the creature just inspired animosity in the people.

Revolutionaries could have benefited. A murdering monster that could not be caught would raise animosity of the people against the aristocracy. It certainly did that.

A certain group of priests (Jesuits?) could have benefited. They were under pressure from the French government. Like the revolutionaries, using a monster to create bad sentiment against the aristocracy would have been useful.

The regular clergy could have benefited. As "a punishment from God", which la Bête was indeed described as, would drive the local population closer to the church.

Some witnesses claimed they saw la Bête in the presence of a man. Could this have been its master? Could this be the person sending la Bête out to kill?


Dog fighting is illegal in most areas of the world today, but that was not the case back then.

Imagine somebody obtaining some wolfhound puppies, and raising them for pit fighting. Wolfhounds are big and powerful. They would be ringers! This person does all the things required for turning them into killers, including a lot of abuse.

Then the dogs escape.

There would now be a group of trained killer dogs on the loose. They are big, they are mean, and thanks to the abuse, they hate humans with a vengence. Just as they would do against other dogs in the pit, they would go for the face of their victims, then tear them apart.


Similar to the above, but this time it is just straight abuse.

Somebody has a wolfhound or a group of wolfhounds, but treats them poorly. Eventually, the dogs get free, and they don't like people ...


I am running low on space once again. What are your thoughts on this?

posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 03:40 AM

Originally posted by JackofBlades

Originally posted by Illyrian
If I had to guess what exactly the beast was, I would say it was a liger. Ligers grow to immense sizes since they do not have growth inhibitor genes (the gene is present in female lions and male tigers) since a liger is created with a male lion and female tiger.

I seriously doubt it was a liger, or a tigon for that matter. These hybrids are extremely EXTREMELY rare in the wild, and only really occur in captivity. Also, presuming one did escape it is unlikely that the reign of terror which lasted for quite a while was caused by one as they (like all hybrid animals) are unable to breed.

Sorry I never meant to insist that the liger would be occuring naturally in the wild, but what I originally meant was what if it was purposefully bred and released to wreak havoc.

posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 11:02 AM
IF someone was involved it would explain a lot. The strange appearance could have
been some type of armour for the hound or covering so that it looked strange. This
could have been done for a couple of reason one to confuse and scare people even more than they would have been. The other is to give the hound(hound/wolf crossbreed)
some protection from weapons.

Ok if this were the case then what happened. Why did he stop killing with the animals.
It lasted a few years and then stoped. Did he occomplish what he set out to do and
then put the animals down. Did he move on are there any other similiar stories from
around the world at this time.

or we could just be way off and it was something else

posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 12:30 PM
A liger would not match the description of the beast. Neither would any of the escaped exotics suggested as candidates for la Bête. The closest animal to matching the beast out of the selection of suggested exotics would be a hyena, and even that is a poor match.

The biggest argument I can deliver against la Bête being an escaped exotic is short and simple.

If a tiger / lion / hyena / panther / cheatah / et cetera had managed to escape from a French zoological garden in 1764, even a private one, it only stands to reason that somebody would have noticed! I don't think anyone would assume that the large predatory mammal that was previously sitting in a now empty cage is simply in the back somewhere brushing its teeth. An alarm would have been raised immediately.

If large predatory animal like that was missing from a zoo, especially a zoo close to the Gévaudan region, that animal probably would have been the prime suspect from the beginning. There would have been very little doubt as to what the identity of la Bête was.


I'm afraid I am also going to have to express a great deal of doubt regarding the idea of la Bête being either a mesonychid or a creodont. Creodonts have been extinct for 8 millions years, mesonychids have been extinct for 30 million years, and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, even anecdotal, that either of these types of animals exist anywhere today, least of all in France. The Gévaudan region, now Lozère, is an area that has been inhabited for thousands of years, including habitation by Neanderthals. This is an area Julius Cæsar and his army marched around in during the Gaulic Wars. If there were large mesonychids or creodonts in the region, especially ones with a habit of attacking and killing people, somebody would have noticed! We wouldn't be speculating over their existance, we would be watching them on TV in some David Attenborough special, or on an episode of Crocodile Hunter with Steve Irwin trying to pet and kiss one.

Please do not bring up the ceolocanth being found in 1938, or the oko-whatever being discovered in 1970s Vietnam as examples of extinct animals showing up alive in different parts of the world. I have known these stories for a very long time, probably longer than many of the frequenters of this forum have been alive. Thank you.

The argument has been made that a mesonychid or creodont could have been captured in South America or deepest darkest Africa by some explorers and brought back to France, where it then escaped, but that does not make sense either. Explorers of this time were flamboyant braggarts basically. If they had found a new and unusual beast, they would had been parading it triumphantly around the streets of Paris or Versailles, not keeping it in some undisclosed backwater location in Central France where it could accidentally escape and run amok. The creature would be known, not a mystery. Even if it had escaped while being transported somewhere (causing the embarassed explorers to shut up and not mention the animal), the Gévaudan region would be a highly unlikely place for an escape to occur. If an escape did occur, it would likely have happened somewhere between an Atlantic or Meditereanian port and a major city where the animal was to be displayed. The Beast of Normandy, the beast of Nice, or the beast of Calais would make much more sense for an exotic escaping during transport in 1764 than the beast of Gévaudan.

The fact that no mesonychids or creodonts have been discovered in South America, Africa, or anywhere else in the world does not lend much support to the "escaped from explorers" idea either.

That kind of brings me back to my own idea for the beast. I don't want to sound like a braggart, but I honestly believe my idea to be more plausible than others that have been suggested, with the escaped pit fighting wolfhound idea being the one I favour most.

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 08:31 AM
Sorry for the double post, but I came across something relevant you might be interested in seeing.

Since the beast has been thought of as possibly a Hyena, or a large wolf, I figured this might be of interest.

posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:56 PM
First off, I thint that Le bete De Gevaudan was a legend, nothing more. But if it was real... i'd have to say it was a wolf. or possibly a Dire Wolf. Scary, nonetheless.

posted on May, 12 2008 @ 02:30 AM
reply to post by Nemox42

As far as this le bete being real and having to be related to anything prehistoric, could be possible. Looking at histories track record, half the things that man has thought to be extinct for the past 10,000 years are being found living in rain forests and deep sea waters. The fact of this matter isn’t is this beast real but the attacks did happen, and in more than just one area of France over the course of 300 years. There are actually about 37 areas where a beast of similar detail had attacked women and children, the reason for Gévaudan being more famous than any other region is that's where the european genocide of wolves took place. If you would like to know more about the beast, this myspace member's blogs actually go in to a great detail on the genocide and the attacks in the provinces surrounding Gévaudan.

I'm not saying that The Brotherhood of the Wolves wasn’t a well directed and produced movie, tending to the more realistic fact that mythical animals don’t kill people. Psychotic’s with really big animals covered in armor do. Giving it a more realistic view. Going back to the prehistoric animal, in the books written by every author trying to make a buck, and from the written accounts of the still shocked victims, the one universal item of the beast that had prevailed was it's fur and physical attributes. Knowing today that the most likely thing it could have been is a mesonychid. that is the only animal that matches the description of all the now dead survivors of her attacks. the problem with it being a wolf, they hunt in packs, not one alone. Like New York roaches, where there is one, there is a million. A big cat, could be, the Nazi's really did a number on that part France during WW2, if it was there it's dead. A hybrid wolf-dog, or any combo of animal. All I can say is that animals are specific on what they mate with… People are not…

About a year ago when my ship went to Marselle, France, I took the trip to the former Gévaudan, known today as the Department of Lozère in the Margeride Mountains. The people there don’t like talking about these attacks, it was the older people who cringed at the sound of Le Bette. I got the nasty treatment until I had left that town and took a taxi back to the Marselle. As for the evidence of this animals body during a hunt in Sept of 1765. It was rotten 7 days after being stuffed and sent to Paris. the Taxidermist was not that good. It was a big wolf though but not big enough to cause the injuries on the living victims or the dead ones. So what this animal was is hidden in time and will never be brought to the light of our eyes. Not in our lifetimes at least.

posted on Nov, 10 2008 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by Souljah

As the writer of the article quoted in your posting and the translator of Pourcher into English I wou;d like to comment.

For 18 years of study of La Bête I thought she was something exceptional and unaided by humans but recently having studied the writings of Louvreleul, a predecessor of Pourcher, I have come to thhe conclusion that there was probably a real Beast but that she was supported by a human conspiracy, or more than one conspiracy.

However, I stilll do not know what she was. Derek Brockis

posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 07:46 AM

posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 07:46 AM

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