Sources : Pathius

Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] *Liber de natura rerum, Quadrupeds 4.92): The pathio is an animal that nature seems to have created to be seen and admired in the world. Its body is colored like red blood, and it shines in a wonderful way when it is exposed to the rays of the Sun. And in a strange manner, while in a living beast this luster is seen, the beauty of the beast is soon withdrawn after death, as if it were unworthy to pollute the corpse with so much beauty of virtue. However, the innate beauty of death is not completely withdrawn, since the blush remains quite beautiful on the skin. The bones of this beast are very strong and hard; but the nerves are so strong that, unless great violence is done to them, they are not easily broken. Some believe that this is the same beast that some of the Western Gentiles worship as Gods. For those Gentiles are said to feed such beasts of a red color, and they give them the most delicate dishes for food, and they worship them, and they keep their captives in cages, and they guard them with the utmost care, lest they should be brought out of their land to any extent; and in this the capital law is enshrined. But they are about the size of dogs - [Badke translation/paraphrase]