Thursday, December 11, 2008

More on the Waikato Saurian, 1886

Further to the previous post of the Great Waikato Saurian Hunt of 1886, I found some notes from the time out of the Auckland Star.

30 September 1886
Considerable amusement was caused in Hamilton last night on the arrival of the Herald containing an account of a "saurian reptile" chasing two boys. The boys in question, who are the sons of Mr. Castleton, who keeps a dairy farm near Frankton, received a fright on Tuesday morning on the bank of a creek on the farm, but nobody supposes that the creature was anything but a lizard or a pig, though the boys described it as a crocodile. It is expected now, since this species of animal is known to live in the district, that there will be a demand for land for rice-growing and sugar-cane culture.
30 October 1886
The Saurian Bosh:-- The people here (in the Waikato) are getting sick of the saurian bosh, though some few credulous people stick to theory.
9 November 1886
Touching that "saurian" it is now believed to have been a "tuna tuhoro", a large eel which the natives say will come out of the water and attack men. Eel or saurian, the people here are getting "full up" of the yarn, and want a new excitement.
25 November 1886
Paeroa, this day -- A rumour was current here at an early hour yesterday morning that a saurian animal was seen in the river near its confluence with the Waihoa, and quite a number of natives started off in pursuit of the taniwha, which was chased up stream to Thorpe's, where three shots were fired at him without any perceptible effect other than to increase his speed. Towards noon the excitement intensified, and at four p.m. Sheehan's bridge was lined with people, whose curiosity was gratified by a view of the head and back of the monster, which rose to the surface of the water immediately under their gaze.

All sorts of theories are advanced with regard to its identity, but from a casual glance which I got of it, I have no hesitation in pronouncing it a seal measuring about six feet in length. From here the chase was continued for a considerable distance down stream, and when last seen our saurian was making its way down to its natural habitat as quickly as possible.

1 comment:

  1. The mystery got solved after all. Very very cool story this one. Love the seal photo.