DALE DRINNON WRITES:
This Sachamama stuff is more than a decade old in Peru and Karl Shuker had an article in FATE about it while that magazine was still in its old, large-size format. Shuker wrote about the Sachamama in 1999-2000 (The FATE article being "Close Encounters of the Cryptozoological Kind" in 2000, following a few in the Fortean Times) and he was connecting it to the Minhocao then but what was being described was a giant snake similar to the current reports. The stories began hitting the news suddenly in the 1990s and were an odd mixture of Sucuriju Gigante and Minhocao features, but identified as another different and local cryptid, the "Snail Demon" or "Snake-with- a-shell", Sachamama. It is evidently depicted on Chimu artwork. Karl Shuker did identify it with the Minhocao and he did think it was a gigantic caecilian. It has an entry in Eberhart's Mysterious Creatures.
I have a theory myself that the damage being done by the Minhocao is mostly being done by an unknown crocodile (reportedly up to 80 feet long on its own!) when it is not natural damage attributed to it supernaturally (more likely) The tunnels and channels are being made by this creature, American Alligators are capable of shifting river courses and toppling trees with their burrowing. The Minhocao is supposed to have banded armor like an armadillo, horned "ears' and a piglike snout, which together sounds like a sort of alligator or caiman. It is also not necessarily the same creature that is reported in both the Peruvian Amazon and the Chaco, although they might both do equivalent damage by their burrowing. A crocodylian six feet broad is on a par with a saltie Indopacific croc, and there are reports of evidently more than one type of croc (Crocodylus) in the Amazon. The one doing the damage in Peru might not necessarily be the same creature as reported in the Chaco, but as you say that is a separate matter.
It seems that in this current case the main bulk of the evidence is actually coming from the newspapers and actually represents what is alleged locally. That does not mean that it corresponds closely to reality
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