Guyana was formerly known as British Guiana so it is perhaps not that surprising that they play cricket and its not unusual to find a Guyanan-born player in the West Indies team. The country is also known as the place where, in 1978, Jimmy Jones managed to instigate the deaths of 918 members of the Peoples Temple cult with the aid of a cyanide-laced Flavor Aid drink. But it isn’t just poisoned soft drinks that could spell danger there is also the Waracabra Tiger to watch out for.
While many mystery cats could be dangerous (and you will certainly read more about some of them in the coming months as we travel the whole wide world) could there be anything more frightening that the Waracabra Tiger? Why should this mystery animal be such a terror? Well, they are described as being jaguars that hunt in a group.
The jaguar is the largest cat to be found in the wild in the Americas and is a fearsome predator in its own right, but if stories of the Waracabra are true there is a jaguar-like animal that runs in a pack. In 1898 Henry Kirke wrote in Twenty-Five Years in British Guiana of the animal ‘the Indians profess the greatest terror of.’ It seemed that when the natives heard the howls of the beasts they headed for their boats and sought safety surrounded by water.
Of course not everyone is convinced that the Waracabra Tiger really is a big cat; there is a theory that it just stems from sightings of the bush-dog - the trouble with that theory is that the bush dog is a lot smaller than the jaguar and not known for its howl.
Once again it appears that another cryptid mystery awaits a solution but one thing is for certain: if you go looking for the Waracabra Tiger make sure your boat is nearby.
Next stop: Venezuela