Saturday, April 15, 2017

M - You Can't Shoot Mowglis in British Columbia

Before the terms "abominable snowman," "Sasquatch" and "Bigfoot" were popularized, British Columbia had a Mowglis problem.

A mowgli is an earlier term used to describe our elusive, forest-dwelling ape-like cousins, and obviously comes from Kipling's The Jungle Book. It's actually a handy word to describe the feral wildmen who were apparently clamouring around the deepest forests of B.C. During the late 19th, early 20th century, sightings in the area were pretty common, so much so that laws had to be created for them. There is a legend (it's never been proven) that there was actually a local law preventing anyone from hunting or shooting the mysterious cryptoids, because they were apparently so numerous they were actually becoming a nuisance.

(Which, incidentally, is also the way most people in Canada view the noble Canada Goose - giant flying vermin that ravages fields and leaves truckloads of green shit in water supplies. We're not allowed to kill them, either.)

You have no idea how much green shit these birds can produce... 
Unless you've walked in a park in Canada in the Spring or the Fall.

A famous story from an Ohio newspaper in 1905 reports the following: (Why a newspaper in Ohio would be reporting on British Columbia wild people is besides the point)
Thomas Kincaid, a rancher living near French creek, while bicycling from Cumberland, also reports seeing a Mowgli, whom he describes as a powerfully built man, more than six feet in height and covered with long black hair. The wild man upon seeing Kincaid uttered a shriek and disappeared into the woods. Upon arriving home Kincaid wrote Government Agent Bray of Nanaimo, inquiring if it would be lawful to shoot the Mowgli, as he was terrorizing that vicinity.
The government agent replied that there was no law permitting such an act. 
So either there was specifically a law that said "you can't shoot Mowglis," or they assumed it was actually a person and not an animal, or the entire story is completely made up. The story did appear in the newspaper, but whether or not you trust the journalistic integrity of turn-of-the-century reports from Ohio is another matter.


My A-to-Z Blogging Challenge theme for 2017 is Weird Canadian Facts and History. To see more blog posts, click here.

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