Angourie Crocodile

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: November 30, 1939
Page Number: 6
GRAFTON, Wednesday.
     A 15ft crocodile held up a train to-day. Max Rutledge, of Yamba, employed by the Beach Mining Company as
a locomotive driver on the light railway which runs to the company's treatment works on Angowrie Beach, said that while driving his train of empty trucks he saw what he took to be a log lying near the line. He stopped the engine to investigate, and was startled to see the 'log' rise from the ground. It was a crocodile. Thinking that the saurian was about to charge the train, he started the engine and left. The crocodile disappeared into a swamp. A search party is being organised by Constable Jackson.
Strange Animals
Northern Rivers Crocodile Probably Escapee

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: December 1, 1939
Page Number: 8
"If a crocodile is at large in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales it is an escapee from a zoo or a travelling show," said the Director of the Queensland Museum (Mr. H. A. Longman) yesterday, commenting on the report from Grafton that a 15ft. crocodile held up a train on the Angowrie Beach Mining property on Wednesday. The range of crocodiles was from North Queensland to the Solomon Islands and the Dutch East Indies, but it was hardly likely that they would migrate as far south as Grafton. The Mary River was the southern limit in Queensland where crocodiles found their natural habitat. Mr. Longman added that many years ago a stir was caused in Brisbane by a practical joker who released a full grown crocodile in the Brisbane River.
angourie_crocodile001002.jpg angourie_crocodile001024.jpg
Heber Albert Longman
Cultural Heritage: English

Religious Influence: Atheist, Congregational

Occupation: museum curator, museum director, naturalist, newspaper editor, newspaper owner, plant/seed collector, zoologist
angourie_crocodile001023.jpg angourie_crocodile001022.jpg
Mr. Longman added that many years ago a stir was caused in Brisbane by a practical joker who released a full grown crocodile in the Brisbane River.
Is this a reference to the "Logan Alligator"? The origins of that crocodile was never established.
Arrived With Circus Nine Years Ago.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: December 1, 1939
Page Number: 12
The crocodile which frightened a locomotive driver at Angowrie Beach yesterday is believed by some residents to have been brought to the coast in ill-health by a travelling circus nine years ago, for salt-water treatment.
     Although it was later stated that the saurian had been killed and the body burnt, residents now declare that the crocodile, which was kept in a tent, escaped and disappeared into the bush.
     This theory is supported by a resident in the vicinity of the swamp where the crocodile is supposed to be living. He reports that for many months cattle, particularly calves, disappeared without trace. Recently persons living in the vicinity heard an unusual bellowing noise coming from the swamp. This may have been made by the crocodile, or have been the death cry of its prey.
     Another theory is that a salt-water crocodile might have been carried to sea off the coast of Queensland, possibly on a log, drifted south, and been cast ashore and established itself in the swamp.
     Constables Jackson and Bakes, with a party of men, searched for the crocodile at Angowrie all to-day without success.
     Intense interest has been created by the report. Inquiries from Sydney have been made by telephone as to the result or the search. It is stated that a cinema firm in Sydney wishes to send up a motion picture outfit by plane, to be in at the capture of the saurian.
The crocodile which frightened a locomotive driver at Angowrie Beach yesterday is believed by some residents to have been brought to the coast in ill-health by a travelling circus nine years ago, for salt-water treatment.
Yowieocalypse can find no reference to this event. Seeking further information...
Claw Marks Found at Swamp.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: December 2, 1939
Page Number: 17
GRAFTON, Friday.
     The hunt for the crocodile which was seen near Angowrie Beach on Wednesday took an exciting turn this afternoon, when four claw-marks were found in the mud beside a swamp.
     The tracks were about 300 yards away from where the crocodile was seen.
     One of the searchers, Constable Jackson, who has frequently seen crocodile tracks in Queensland, said to-night that the tracks were clearly distinguishable and there was little doubt that the crocodile was living in the swamp.
     It is expected that a spring trap, with a wire noose attached, will be built to trap the crocodile.
     The theory that the saurian was brought to the district in a travelling circus is gaining ground. Mr. A. D. Pegus said to-day that about 13 years ago a sick circus crocodile was brought to Yamba and kept in a large crate near his residence and given salt-water treatment. Later he was toid that the crocodile had died, and its owners went away, but there had been no evidence of its death.
The Courier Mail offers a slightly different version of events:
Mr. A. D. Pegus, who has lived at Yamba for 33 years, said to-day that 13 years ago a party of showmen brought a crocodile to the Grafton show, where it was exhibited. It became sick, and was taken to Yamba, the party camping near where Mr. Pegus lives. Later he was told that the crocodile had died, and the party left Yamba.
The Canberra Times (ACT)
Date: December 4, 1939
Page Number: 2
GRAFTON, Sunday.
Large crowds watched while police and motorists to-day continued the search for the crocodile. Some tracks and large footpads were discovered where the monster was reported to have been seen by a train crew last week.
     A large peculiar scale, about the size, of a shilling-piece was found. Plaster a casts are being taken of the footpads and will be forwarded to the Sydney Museum for identification.
     The search will be continued tomorrow.
More Tracks Found.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: December 4, 1939
Page Number: 9
GRAFTON, Sunday.
     Searchers for the crocodile, which was seen near Angourie Beach last week, and has set the whole district agog, today found more claw-marks, and a scale the size of a shilling piece.
     Plaster casts of the imprints were taken by Police Sergeant Pacer, of Maclean, who, with other police, continued the search for the saurian at 4 o'clock this morning, in the hope of finding it foraging for food. He returned at midday with the scale, which is coloured brown and water-green.
     Constable Jackson, of Yamba, with local residents, then took up the search, and found the tracks where the crocodile was first seen. He followed the tracks for 250 yards to the edge of the scrub. The search then stopped for the day.
     Constable Jackson said on his return that the tracks showed the imprints of four claws and footpads, four and a half inches long. The plaster cast of the tracks will be sent to the Museum authorities in Sydney for their opinion.
     Plans are being made to take the crocodile alive. Many goats have been missed from flocks in the neighbourhood in recent years, and probably a goat will be used for the trap, Which will consist of an inclined chute, wide enough for the crocodile, travelling to a raised platform, on which the bait will be tied, beyond reach. A stout steel rope will be attached to the end of a bent sapling half-way along the chute. This saplingóit is hopedówill fly up and catch the crocodile in a loop before it can reach the prey.
     Tremendous Interest has been aroused by the hunt, for the crocodile. Hundreds of cars visited the spot during the week-end, and the police reminded the public that it is an offence to use firearms on Sundays.
     The latest evidence to support the belief that the crocodile has been in the district for some time comes from aborigines near Red Rock, a few miles south of Angourie. They say that a "debil debil" comes to the surface of one of the lakes there at night, and a bull-like bellowing is often heard. They believe that the spot is haunted, and the bravest of them will not go near the bank of the lake after dark. They also declare that cattle will not go near the water, and waterfowl never alight on it. Cattle are reported to have disappeared from the neighbourhood of the lake. It is thought that the crocodile may have lived there for the past few years and recently gone north to Angourie.
Strange Creature Seen.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: December 5, 1939
Page Number: 12
Since the search began for the crocodile which was seen near Angourie Beach last week, several residents have reported that they have seen a strange creature on the move at night. They say that they refrained from reporting their experiences earlier because they feared ridicule.
     Mr. and Mrs. T. Henderson state that one night about l8 months ago they were fishing on Pippie Beach when they saw the creature in the half-dark. Mr. Arthur Garven, of Palmer's Island, also saw an animal which he could not identify because of the darkness. It is also staled that Captain Fraser, who recently left Angourie after a long residence, was often kept awake, at night by a booming noise from a swamp.
     Captain Brookes, of the dredge Jupiter, who has had considerable experience in crocodile infested country in North Australia, saw a plaster cast made, of a claw print, found at Angourie, and expressed Ihe opinion that it
was that of a crocodile.
     The search of the lowlying swampy area of about four square miles in which the crocodile was seen is being continued. The searchers have killed innumerable snakes.
     Dynamiting is being considered as a means of frightening the crocodile from its lair. Hunters to-day set lines of fencing wire in a vain attempt to capture the crocodile with a shark hook baited with beef. A warning against swimming in pools has been issued.
     To-day one of the hunters heard a frantic rustling in the scrub, and stood by eagerly with a gun. He shot a 5ft goanna as it raced out of cover. The carcase later adorned the floor of the Yamba Hotel labelled "Angourie Crocodile."

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: December 6, 1939
Page Number: 4
A reward of from £25 to £100 for the capture of the crocodile is being considered by Yamba business men, because of a possible slump in business during the Christmas season, following reports that a dangerous reptile is at large in the district. Another section contends that the publicity given to the novelty should attract more tourists. The constant stream of hunters on horseback combing the scrub for the crocodile has caused the police to ask private people to desist from such efforts for a time, as it is possible that this may be keeping the quarry in hiding, and a close, quiet watch by officials might produce results.
     This picture shows a plaster cast of what is believed to be the imprint of the paw of the Angourie crocodile, for which hunters are searching; the swamps near Grafton.
The Canberra Times (ACT)
Date: December 7, 1939
Page Number: 4
GRAFTON, Wednesday - Despite searches by many parties and all night watches there has been no sign of the crocodile which is believed to be hiding in a swamp at Angourie.
Politicians Join In.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: December 7, 1939
Page Number: 10
GRAFTON, Wednesday.
     Two members of the State Parliament, Mr. Wingfield, M.L.A. and Mr. Graham Pratten, M.L.C., have joined in the hue and cry for the mysterious crocodile near Angourie Beach.
     Constable Jackson has made a statement that the claw marks found by the official police search party could not have been faked and that he has also found marks thought to have been made by the crocodile's tail in a patch of sandy soil.
angourie_crocodile001002.jpg wingfield.jpg angourie_crocodile001005.jpg
C. G. Wingfield
c. 1952
Graham Pratten
c. 1928
Quarry May Have Fled.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: December 8, 1939
Page Number: 12
GRAFTON, Thursday.
     The army and residents, including two members of Parliament, searching for the elusive crocodile at Angourie, is not yet on the scent. The belief is growing that the hue and cry has driven the crocodile, from its usual haunts.
     On this assumption, Constable Jackson said to-day that, with W. Kirk, a good bushman and rifle shot, he intends to search swamps, some miles away.
     Constable Jackson is disappointed that the public has not heeded his request to stop the hunt, so that the crocodile would not be frightened.
     It was learned to-day that sections of the 15th Light Horse, in camp at Grafton, will spend five days in military manoeuvres in "crocodile country" between Red Rock and Yamba. It is reported that they will make maps of waterholes, swamps, and creeks, so there may be some unofficial crocodile hunting.
angourie_crocodile001002.jpg angourie_crocodile001001.jpg