The ndzoodzoo is a type of unicorn from South Africa.

Unlike its smaller cousin, the abada, the ndzoodoo is large and can be aggressive, a trait shared with many members of the unicorn family. It is said to be larger than a zebra, fleet of foot, and fierce, ready to attack if a threat appears. While it is always differentiated from the rhinoceros when a description is given, sometimes explicitly differentiated, exact specifications on the color of the  hide and  and length horn vary greatly. It is sometimes said to be a dark brown color, while other reports describe it with similar markings to the quagga, an extinct subspecies of zebra with few stripes on the body and a brownish coloration. The horn varies from two-and-a-half feet long to a ten inch protrusion covered in hair. The horn is also sometimes said to be flexible when needed, and can be curled up to keep it out of the way when the beast isn’t fighting, giving it some similarity to the yale and its swiveling pair of horns. Unlike several of its cousins, the horn does not have the ability to detect poison or purify and heal.

The earliest records of this creature are seen in cave paintings done by bushmen in Natal, in which striped creatures with a single horn are shown. Several explanations have been put forth to explain its inclusion in both the paintings and later stories told to and by colonists and explorers in the area. It is possible that an antelope seen in profile would appear to have a single horn; it could also be a depiction of an injured creature or a sport, accidentally born with a single horn instead of two. Just as the Arabian oryx is thought to be a possible inspiration for the more common northern unicorn, it is possible that the gemsbok, also known as the southern oryx, inspired this Kalahari-version of the creature.


This is the hippalectryon, with the head and forequarters of a horse and the wings, tail, and hindquarters of a rooster.

The hippalectryon is odd in that it does not seem to have a story attached to it. Instead, it shows up in ancient Greek black-figure pottery and coins. Sometimes it is depicted with a rider, and often this is a small boy. Some scholars argue that this is an alternative representation of Pegasus, or else that the creature is based on early, changing representations of its more famous cousin.

It is an awkward combination of horse and cockerel, somehow able to attain flight even with a rider despite having the wings of domesticated fowl. Without any story, it is difficult to determine anything about the beast’s behavior for certain. It is possible that the properties attributed to the two animals that make up the hippalectryon are present in the beast. Roosters were thought to ward off evil spirits with their crowing, while horses were often funerary symbols, escorting the dead to the afterlife.  Because it is intentionally ridiculous, it is possible that the creature is designed to protect against evil by inducing laughter.

With that in mind, go on. Laugh at him. He won’t mind. That’s the point of him, after all.