The kerit is a prominent cryptid found in East Africa. It is most commonly reported by the Nandi.
Descriptions of the beast vary wildly, though most depict it as a hyena- or bear-like creature at least four feet high at the shoulder, with a sloping back and a shambling gait. A longer mane trails along its back, which is usually described as darker than the main body colour but may occasionally be lighter. It has a long, pronounced snout unlike a lion. It is typically described as having small ears and a short tail if a tail at all, and shaggy fur near the feet and the head but smoother hair near the rump. Its skin is thick. It can have anywhere from three to six toes, with accounts varying wildly in this respect. Occasionally, the kerit has been observed standing on its hind legs.
More whimsical descriptions also exist, ranging from an ape to a half bird, half ape creature. In such accounts, it is described as having a mouth that glows like embers, a single eye, or even the ability to breathe fire.
Perhaps the kerit's most infamous stunt is to climb trees and swipe at its prey from above, knocking their skulls open to get at the brains. They seem to be picky eaters, as this is the only part of the body they will eat, leaving the rest to scavengers. While humans, especially children, are common prey, it will also attack livestock such as goats and cattle, and often it will ravage entire herds. While many have tried to keep it, and other animals, at bay with walls of thorns, the kerit plows straight through them unlike a lion or leopard. At night, it sometimes emits a blood-curdling howl.