The tshenkutshen, meaning “seven bands” in the Shuar language, is an unknown big cat that allegedly exists in the Sangay National Park and the Cutucú cordillera of eastern Ecuador.
Tshenkutshens are said to be either the same size or slightly smaller than a jaguar, are covered in black fur, and have a multicoloured pattern of red, yellow, and white fur on their chest. Strangely, some reports describe their coat as not being predominantly black, but white with black rosettes instead.
Their paws are described as having long, almost monkey-like digits, which is presumably to aid in their arboreal lifestyle. Tshenkutshens are said to be able to effortlessly climb, and jump from, the tallest trees.
In 1959, a man named Policarpio Rivadeneira was hunting off the Rio Abanico in the Cerro Kilamo forest when a white, jaguar-like animal charged at him through the trees. Rivadeneira shot the creature before it could get to him. He described the animal as being white in colour with black rosettes, a multicoloured chest, a humped back, and muscular limbs with monkey-like paws.
In 1998, travel writer Joe Kane mentioned that the Indigenous Cofán people knew of a “howler monkey tiger” that had human-like hands in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.
Ángel Morant Forés, a Spanish cryptozoologist, theorized it could be an unknown, giant, relative of the margay (Leopardus wiedii), an arboreal wildcat native to Ecuador that resembles a small jaguar.