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猴蛇 (hóu shé): monkey-snake

In Mandarin, “monkey-snake” (猴蛇 hóu shé) sounds the same as the word for “mouthpiece” (喉舌 hóushé). A member of the pantheon of mythical creatures, the monkey-snake represents the official mouthpiece of the Chinese government. Following is a fictional account of the monkey snake, as originally seen on human rights activist Yunchao's (now defunct) blog:

Monkey-snake: mammal, developed brain, human-like face. Has the head of a monkey and the body of a snake. Rectal area also resembles a face. Skilled at imitating human language, but usually lies. First appeared approximately 100 years ago in Russia. While once common in much of Eastern Europe, Northeast Asia, Africa etc., it is now only found in Northeast Asia and South America. While there are many varieties of the species, the kind found in China and North Korea is considered to be the most authentic. Because the species is somewhat rare, Chinese scholar Ling Cangzhou proposed that April 1st (April Fools Day) of every year be designated “Monkey-Snake Day” to promote the recognition and protection of the species.

猴蛇,属哺乳纲灵长目猴蛇科。大脑发达,颜面似人,猴首蛇身,臀部亦呈脸状。善模仿人语,但多说假话。约一百年前出现在俄罗斯,一度广泛分布于东欧、东北 亚、非洲等地,现存于东北亚及中南美洲等地。该物种形态各异,但以分布在中国大陆及朝鲜半岛北部之品种较为纯正。因种群稀少,中国民间学者凌沧洲2009 年4月1日提议将每年的4月1日定为“中国猴蛇节”,以加强对该物种的重视及保护。

Snake monkey.jpg