The Animal that Doesn't Exist?

Have you ever heard of the Okapi?

It has been described as a horse/zebra/giraffe.  

Scientists say it's closely related to the giraffe with a much smaller neck.  Note the zebra stripes are only in the areas with thinner skin… for fly protection like we learned on an earlier devotion…

While it was known about for a long time, scientists said it wasn’t a real animal and called it the African Unicorn, meaning just a tall story.  In the early 1900’s, Sir Harry Johnston was given a hide by a pygmy tribe, which kicked off current research.

They are found in the wild of the Republic of Congo as well as zoos, where my wife Denise, has ran across them.

We mentioned the unicorn, basically a horse with a horn, right?

Except in European tradition, it's not exactly a horse, and among other things should have a goat tail and cloven hooves.


Then I found out from my late wife Gaylene, that there is also a similar animal called a
Kelin, Kerin, or Girin.

Anyway, except for the single horn, not a lot of similarity.  

In 2012, North Korea said they found the location of a unicorn lair, likely the one ridden by King Dongmeyeong of Goguryeo, an ancient Korean Kingdom.  

Images of this started appearing… people laughed.  The new leader of North Korea was just trying to impress people too hard and prove he lived near the ancient capital.  After all unicorns never existed, right?

... Or did they?




Numbers 23:22 (KJV)
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Numbers 24:8 (KJV)
God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.

Deuteronomy 33:17 (KJV)
His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.

Psalm 22:21 (KJV)
Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Psalm 29:6 (KJV)
He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

Psalm 92:10 (KJV)
But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

Isaiah 34:7 (KJV)
And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

Job 39:9-12 (KJV)

Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?  Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?

Job here it is giving the attributes of a unicorn.  Untrainable, very strong.    Attributes echoed from the earlier verses.

Notice that I have been reading from the King James version.

More modern versions of the Bible don’t want to talk about unicorns, so they changed it to oxen.  Strong’s Concordance does say that the exact meaning is no longer known.

While the single horn throws some people we do see it in the rhinoceros and narwhal,

just to name two other single horned animals.

Eighteenth century reports from southern Africa described rock drawings and eyewitness accounts of fierce, single-horned, equine-like animals. One such report describes “a single horn, directly in front, about as long as one’s arm, and at the base about as thick. . . . [It] had a sharp point"

Many have heard of Marco Polo, who traveled to the far east in the 12th century.  
When he made it to Sumatra, he saw an animal with one horn.  He said: “They have wild elephants and plenty of unicorns, which are scarcely smaller than elephants.  They have the hair of a buffalo and the feet like an elephant.  They have a single large black horn in the middle of the forehead… They are very ugly brutes to look at...”

Egyptian carvings also show animals with one horn.

Some people have also thought it could be the Monoclonius, a triceratops-like dinosaur with one horn.

The lesson here is just because we don’t know about an animal does not mean it never existed.

The scientists that said the Okapi didn’t exist, were proven dead wrong.  We know we can trust the bible, so while we have never seen a unicorn, we can believe they did exist in some form.

© Vivian P. Kirkpatrick, 2016