Domenico Tupputi (1763-1838) was one of the last people to believe in the existence of the “jumart”, a chimerical hybrid less famous than the unicorn, product of the crossing of a bull with a mare or a donkey. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Neapolitan agronomist, a refugee in France, wrote a book on agriculture (1807) in which his statements about fantastic animals and other similar affirmations were strongly criticized by the veterinarian Jean-Baptiste Huzard (father).
To justify himself, he wrote a forty-page response in the form of a Mea Culpa. As he himself had never seen the “jumart”, all he had done, according to him, was to rely on the writings of Columelle who was the first to mention it, on Garsault and his “Parfait Maréchal” (1741) (Perfect Marshal), and even on the great Bourgelat founder of the first veterinary school in the world.
However, Bufon or Albrecht von Haller had included the “jumart” in the fabulous bestiary of an article of the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et Métiers (1777). And in the “Traité de l’Éducation des Animaux domestiques“(1820) (Treatise on the Breeding of Domestic Animals), Arsenne Thiébaut de Berneaud hypothesized that these very credulous observers had probably seen “snakes with deformed heads, strange-looking mules, or types of oxen of unique and extraordinary varieties”.
Domenico Tupputi’s books.