Kushtaka - A Creature of Cryptozoology

Published: 19th October 2009
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The Tlingit Indians of Southeastern Alaska have for years bellieved in a creature called the Kushtaka, the land otter man. Just like the leprechauns, kushtaka are shape shifting creatures too. They can take the shape of a human being as well as the shape of an animal, specifically an otter. Folktales give different accounts of their behavior. Some stories tell that Kushtaka are cruel mystical creatures. They get great pleasures from tricking poor sailors to their death by mimicking voices of loved ones who are in distress and asking for help.

Other stories show Kushtaka as a friendly creature that often help lost individuals. Through illusions, these creatures would distract individuals with false impression of their families or their friends to save them from freezing to death. Often times they would transform a lost individual into a fellow Kushtaka so that he will survive the cold. In

this case, the Kushtaka will prove to be a very helpful ally of the humans.

However, this is not always the case. Depending on a whim, Kushtaka can be a very malevolent creature. This would cause the Tlingit Indians to speak reticently about this creature. Some legends would tell how Kushtaka will imitate a crying baby or a screaming woman asking for help. The voice would lure the victim to a river where it will be cruelly killed and torn to shreds. In some cases the victim will be turned into another Kushtaka.

Actual sightings of these half man half otter creatures were reported during the gold digging days. A miner's encounter with a Kushtaka was published and goes this way: A member of a gold prospector's team was sent to Thomas Bay to scour the area for gold prospects. He was confined to his tent for several days due to heavy rains but on a clear day, he was able to find gold flecked quartz. As he was taking his bearing, he was approached by creatures that looked like both men and ape. These long haired stinking creatures were covered with sores. Lucklily, the miner was able to run to his canoe and survived to tell the tale.

Two other miners had the same experience later on and they came back with the same frightening account. One miner was told to have gone mad after the horrific event. Several other sightings were reported. A farmer who was looking for a dog, found unexplainable tracks instead and a trapper disappeared after that with only the clothes found by the search party.

There is a website that describes the Kushtaka and numerous other creatures of Cryptozoology in detail, this website is called: Unknown Creatures and it may be found at this url: http://www.unknown-creatures.com

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Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 8 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released software on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970's-80's. Robert has written many articles pertaining to numerous subjects, and he has also developed over 6 different websites.

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