The Bili Ape is a type of chimpanzee found in the Bili Forest in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The creature, sometimes called
the Bondo Mystery Ape has sparked debate due to the odd nature of some descriptions and the lack of DNA evidence for a new species.
The Bili Ape seems to be a combination of chimp and gorilla both physically and behaviorally.
The Bili Ape is massive by chimpanzee standards. Heights can exceed 5 feet (about Gorilla height), their skulls are larger than chimp skulls, and
their footprints are larger even than gorillas. Unfortunately, there have been relatively few detailed observations of the Bili Ape and no thorough
examination of either remains or a living Bili Ape in captivity. They are also various described as having silver backs and even snouted faces
The locals in Bili refer to Bili Apes as "Lion Killers". While chimps tend to stay in the trees and make good prey for big cats, Bili Apes nest on
the ground like gorillas and have been reported to hunt lions.
The animals seem to have very little fear. They do not feign charges or otherwise threaten when meeting humans, but often surround humans and view
them with curiosity. They are also not affected by the poison areas used by the locals (which work on normal "tree beaters" as the locals call
Bili Apes may be far more widespread than the Democratic Republic of Congo. Similar creatures appear in African lore as far away as Malawi (where
there should be no chimps at all) 2. An oversized chimpanzee with odd features, whose description matches both the Bili Ape and the Malawi version
which the locals call Ufiti was kept in an English zoo until 1964, when it died, but never inspired any serious study 3.
They emerged from legend and into the realm of scientific study only recently. A sighting by an activist against the bush meat trade in 1996 lead to
further study in 2000 and 2001, and with the end of the civil war in Congo, the Jane Goodall Institute was able to mount an expedition in 2004, which
actually encountered them. A British Science Weekly team that studied them for a year between June 2005 and June 2006 captured over 20 hours of
The 2004 expedition lead to the most chilling account however. Shelly Williams, Ph.D. of the Jane Goodall Institute recounted her first experience
with them for "The New Scientist".
We could hear them in the trees, about 10m away, and four suddenly came rushing through the brush towards me. If this had been a mock charge they
would have been screaming to intimidate us. These guys were quiet, and they were huge. They were coming in for the kill - but as soon as they saw my
face they stopped and disappeared.
In light of later events, this could either be an isolated incident or a misunderstanding of the animal’s intent, as they have not generally been
found hostile, but only very curious.
Dr Williams, whose account appears above, was shot in the back; ostensibly as an innocent bystander to a drug-related shootout in Atlanta last
November 4. It is not popularly suspected that there may have been more to the shooting.
Skeptic's Account of Ufiti at Zoo
Karl Amman project on Bili Ape
From myth to reality - meet the
chimps who eat lions - The Daily Mail, 15th July 2007
Relevant discussion threads on AboveTopSecret.com
Proof of Bigfoot, and why it's real.