The Zouwu was "five-coloured" and resembled a "gigantic elephant-sized cat". It was a monstrously large feline-like beast with a striped body, scraggly mane, four fangs that curled out of its mouth, long sharp claws, and a disproportionately long, ruffled multicoloured tail. Zouwus were incredibly powerful and fast, capable of travelling 1,000 miles in a day.
The Zouwu appeared to be able to Apparate as demonstrated during Newt Scamander's escape from the French Ministry of Magic. This ability was powerful enough to bypass the Ministry's measures against disapparition.
Skender, the cruel owner and ringmaster of the Circus Arcanus, captured a female Zouwu and bore the scars of its abuse. In early September 1927, Newt Scamander encountered the escaped Zouwu, and demonstrated having knowledge about this creature, though curiously, he had not mentioned it in his Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book. To Newt, the creature is just "like a big kitten", despite it being terrifying to most human beings. Newt used a toy to tame the Zouwu and lured it into his suitcase. Newt also had created a habitat for the Zouwu, and he treated the creature's scars with Dittany before releasing its shackles.
When Newt, Tina Goldstein and Leta Lestrange were cornered by a pack of Matagots in the French Ministry of Magic, Newt unleashed the Zouwu from his suitcase to fight off the smaller felines before they travelled away to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. The Zouwu nuzzled Newt affectionately before it returned into the suitcase.
During the 2020s, the Zouwu from 1927 appeared as a Foundable during the Calamity. Volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force were able to free her, allowing the Zouwu to return to her original time.
In 2021, a new baby Zouwu named Josephine was born in the London Zoo's Magizoology wing and later escaped into Marylebone. After a chase and one of the largest mass Memory Charms in history, she was safely brought back to the zoo.
Behind the scenes
- J. K. Rowling confirmed that the Zouwu is based on the creature of the same name in Chinese mythology.
- When Eddie Redmayne and J. K. Rowling first revealed the Zouwu in interviews, some fans misconstrued the pronunciation of its name and incorrectly credited the creature's name to be "Taowu", a different Chinese mythological beast. This was later corrected by Chinese-speaking fans via social media.
- Zouwu first appeared in Shanhaijing, a Chinese book about mythical creatures. In Shanhaijing, the Zouwu is a very rare beast in Linshiguo and described to be as big as a tiger, with colourful patterns and very long tail. The Zouwu is said to be extremely fast and strong, and to only eat dead animals.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay (First appearance)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Notes and references
- "Beware! New Beasts Ahead in “Crimes of Grindelwald”" - Mugglenet.com
- "Breakdown of the ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Comic-Con Official Trailer!" - The Leaky Cauldron. 21 July, 2018.
- "J.K. Rowling explains the Chinese [Zouwu] creature in 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'" uploaded by SnitchSeeker.com on YouTube
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, "A SCANDAL IN HOGSMEADE" Achievement
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Calamity Essentials III, Petting and Scratching Zoo
- "J.K. Rowling Talks New Chinese ‘Fantastic Beast’–Will the Wizarding World Head There Next?" - The Leaky Cauldron. 27 July, 2018.
- Four Perils#Zuo Zhuan and Shanhaijing on Wikipedia