Columbus's Ape-Faced Cat is an odd cat or other mammal of Central America, seen on Columbus’s fourth voyage. Large cat. Apelike face. Prehensile tail. Aggressive. Killed a peccary with only its foreleg and thick tail. Christopher Columbus sent an armed party into the interior of Costa Rica in 1502, and this odd-looking animal was captured.

Possible explanations[]

  • The Central American spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ) has a prehensile tail and a catlike body 1–2 feet long. The Costa Rican variety is brown to silvery above,lighter below. It growls and acts threatening when disturbed, but whether this fruit-eating monkey, even if provoked, could dispatch a pig is doubtful.
  • The Kinkajou (Potos flavus), a relative of the raccoon, is even more catlike, also has a prehensile tail, and is common in Central American forests. However, it is extremely docile.
  • An unknown species of carnivorous cat, now extinct, suggested by Herbert Wendt.