|Others||Doyarchu, Water Dog, Master Otter, Irish Crocodile|
|Binomen||N/A (perhaps related to Megalenhydris?)|
|Body type||Aquatic quadruped mammal|
|Average length||Up to 2 meters|
|Place of origin||Ireland|
|Locomotion||Swimming, walking on land|
|Behind the Scenes|
The dobhar-chú, a.k.a. doyarchu, water-dog or master otter, is a species of large carnivorous aquatic mammal reported to inhabit numerous lakes and rivers of Ireland (with a few reports coming from Scotland as well). Its origins date back to Celtic folklore and survive into modern cryptozoology, with sightings occurring as recently as 2003.
Their appearance is that of an elongated, mammalian beast which looks like a mixture of an otter and a large hound dog. They have webbed paws, a long tail and dark fur that can be either brown or black, sometimes with one or more white patches (and in at least one case: mostly white fur with a few dark patches). They are carnivores and known to attack humans. A famous tale recalls the story of an 18th century man who shot a dobhar-chú as revenge after the creature viciously killed his wife. The man was readily attacked by the dobhar-chú's own mate and engaged in a long fight with the animal before finally being able to finish that one as well. His wife's grave still bears the image of the beast carved on its tombstone.
The dobhar-chú bears great similarity to a legendary creature from Argentinan rivers known as Ienisch or Water Tiger, also described as otter-like.