The Zouwu (sometimes written as ZouWu) is a powerful magical beast native to China.[2][3]


The Zouwu is said to resemble a "gigantic elephant-sized cat", and is "five-coloured".[4] It is a monstrously large feline beast, as big as an elephant, with a striped body, scraggly mane, four fangs that curl out of its mouth, long sharp claws, and a disproportionately long, ruffled multicoloured tail. Zouwus are incredibly powerful and fast, capable of travelling 1,000 miles in a day.[1]

The Zouwu appears to have the ability to warp space around itself for quick travel, as demonstrated during Newt Scamander's escape from the French Ministry of Magic. This ability is powerful enough to bypass the Ministry's unplottability.


Skender, the cruel owner and ringmaster of the Circus Arcanus, captured a female Zouwu and bore the scars of its abuse.[1] 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.[5] Newt used a toy to tame the Zouwu and lured it into his suitcase. Newt also had created a habitat of the Zouwu, and he treated the creature's scars with Dittany before releasing its shackles.[5]

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.[5]

Behind the scenes


A Zouwu as a POP! Vinyl

  • J. K. Rowling confirmed that the Zouwu is based on the creature of the same name in Chinese mythology.[2][6]
  • 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[7] Chinese mythological beast. This was later corrected by Chinese-speaking fans via social media.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 13 images related to Zouwu.

External links

Notes and references

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