Logan Alligator

The Brisbane Courier (Qld.)
Date: March 1, 1905
Page Number: 4
We are informed by a correspondent that on Thursday last Mr. William Hammel, aerated water manufacturer, of Beenleigh, observed a large alligator on the bank of the river near Loganholm ferry. Mr. Hammel procured a rifle and succeeded in wounding the saurian, which took to the water, and disappeared. From time to time of late the existence of an alligator in the Logan River has been alleged, but no credence has been given to these reports, as no authentic record exists of the occurrence of the alligator in Queensland rivers south of the Mary. The appearance of the specimen shot at by Mr. Hammel may possibly be accounted for in this way : Some nine years ago two well known Brisbane residents received the unusual Christmas gift of an alligator from some friends in the North. The night after this remarkable "present" arrived in Bisbane, it escaped from the case in which it had been carried, and as no trace could be found, it was surmised that it had made its way to the river. This surmise was strengthened when a week or so later a fishing party reported having seen a strange monster resembling an alligator off Fisherman Island.
Strange Animals

The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: March 18, 1905
Page Number: 32
Sir,—The appearance of an alligator is the Logan River, recorded in your issue of the 4th instant, recalls to my mind an incident which occurred in 1870. At that time I had a sugar plantation at the Pimpama-Ormeau plantation. At the lower end of the canefields, on the flat, was a very large swamp, close to where the South Coast Railway now runs. This swamp was overgrown with very tall reeds, and was fed by a clear, deep fresh-water creek, which ran through the plantation at the foot of Cockerill's Hill. My manager, Mr. C. Vaughan, told me that on one Sunday he was sitting on the ridge overlooking the swamp, when he heard a crackling noise in the rushes, and by-and-by a long iguana-like animal came into view on the edge of the water. "Either it's the bunyip," he said, "or an alligator." There were so many black snakes about the swamp that neither of us cared to go and investigate. Some time afterwards a dry time came, and we burnt off the reeds almost to the water's edge. On going next day to look for wild ducks, we noticed tracks which, since I have seen the alligator tracks on the Herbert River. I now feel sure were those of one of these saurians. It is quite possible that it entered the Pimpama Creek from the sea, came up the Hotham, and thence got over to Ormeau. There are doubtless still old residents of Pimpama who will remember the circumstance. Alligators live as long as elephants and parrots, so the reptile lately shot at in the Logan may be the very same that was seen in 1870.

—I am, sir. &c,

The Brisbane Courier (Qld.)
Date: June 23, 1905
Page Number: 4
For several years past statements have been made at various limes to the effect that an ealigator had been seen in the Logan River. On one occasion a man who was swimming in the river was dragged down, and the spectators stated that an alligator had seized him. A few months ago a report was made that the alligator had again been seen, and that one of the local residents had fired at it with a rifle. These statements were received with a considerable amount of scepticism, as it was thought that it was extremely unlikely that an alligator would be found so fae South. It now appears, however, that the statements were well founded, inasmuch as yesterday we received a letter from Mr. A. G. Hinds stating that he and his brother had that morning captured an alligator 12ft. 7in. in length in the river near the old Logan Village ferry. Another correspondent writes under yesterday's date —
     "Logan Village was in a state of great excitement this morning when it became known that the alligator scare was not of a trifling nature, as the saurian had really been caught. It appears that Mr. Hinds was the first to see the alligator floating on the surface of the water, under a willow tree, a short distance above the village ferry. The creature had apparently been shot a few days ago, and had found its last resting place where discovered. Mr. Hinds, with the assistance of his brother, and Mr. Charles Rumph, tossed it down to the ferry landing, and pulled it up on to the bank. The school children were then allowed by their head teacher (Mr. Cooke) to inspect the curiosity. It will be a relief to the parents of children living on the banks of the river to know that the alligator scare is now a thing of the past.
Pictured with the croc are John Storey (farmer), Jack and Alf Hinds (storekeeper), Mr Cook (school master), Mr Rump (publican) and Fred Manitzky (blacksmith).

The Brisbane Courier (Qld.)
Date: August 19, 1905
Page Number: 12
Mr. George H. Cooke, of Logan Village State School, writes :—
     By to-day's mail I am sending you a photo, of the head of the alligator we lately caught here. You will notice that all but the head has been skinned, and the white fat on the neck shows out very prominently."

The Brisbane Courier (Qld.)
Date: September 9, 1905
Page Number: 10
Sir,—The enclosed cutting from the "Courier" of 19th August, 1905, illustrates a very common popular error, which in this instance is the more notable as emanating from one of the teachers of young Queensland. The fact that such an error is frequently being repeated by various organs of the Press in different parts of the State induces me to ask you to publish the fact that alligators do not exist in any part of Queensland or of Australia nor in any part of the world except in the United States of North America and China (Yang tse-Kiang only). Although it belongs to the same family as the crocodiles , it is distinguished from the crocodile in several well-defined particulars. There are two species of crocodiles in Queensland, but neither of these is an alligator. The Queensland crocodile, so often mistaken for and called an alligator, inhabits the tropical rivers, travelling up as far as the tide flows but seldom, if ever, above it, unless carried up in time of flood when it may be left stranded in a lagoon. It is a carnivorous reptile and will seize any animal, man, bullock, or dog. It attains a length of 18ft. or more, has a long head sharp nose its fourth lower tooth of the lower jaw on each side fits into a furrow or notch in the upper jaw (while those of the aligator fit into a pit), it has a jagged fringe on its legs (while the alligator has no fringe) the web between the toes of the hind feet is complete (while the toes on the alligator are only half webbed). It is found in Egypt, India, and Australia as well as in America. The best known species is that found in the Nile—Croccodiles vulgaris, or Croccodilus niloticus. The alligator is found in America and China, though fossil remains have been found in England. The crocodile lives in the water but basks on the banks of tidal rivers. The alligator lives less in the water and more in the marshes.
     In Queensland tropical rivers there is another species of crocodile which has been named Crocodlus johnstonii (after Police Inspector Johnstone). It seldom, if ever, grows over 8ft in length and lives in the fresh water above todal flow. It is believed to be harmless and boys often bathe among them with impunity. This species is not even mentioned in the "Encyclopadeia Britacnica" or "Chambers Encyclopadeia." The curator of the Queensland Museum is anxious to get a specimen and will be glad to receive one from any resident on our Northern rivers. They are frequently seen in the Herbert River, north west of Cardwell and also in the Albert River, near Burketown.
     It would be well, now that nature study is taking front rank in our State schools, for our schoolmasters to know that the alligator does not inhabit Queensland waters and that it is only found in the North American and Chinese rivers. Its head is broad, short, and flat; its nose is broad and short, the fourth tooth on each side of the lower jaw fits into a pit in the upper jaw instead of into a furrow or notch; the legs have not any fringe; the toes of the hind feet are only half webbed. It lives more in the marsh land and less in the water than the crocodiles.

—I am sir &c.,

(At the request of Dr. Rendle the above was submitted to Mr. De Vis, who has given it the benefit of his revision adding the information that in the alligitor the ventral scutes are absent or very thin. He also questions whether C. johnstonii is found on the north cast coast of Queensland.—Ed.)
Dr. Richard Rendle
c. 1909
The Brisbane Courier (Qld.)
Date: March 5, 1892
Page Number: 4
It is reported that an alligator has been seen on the banks of the Brisbane River.
The Brisbane Courier (Qld.)
Date: July 19, 1898
Page Number: 4
Mr. Drennan, the lighthouse-keeper at Fisherman Island, reports having seen an alligator in the Brisbane River a few days ago. He says that the alligator, which was about 7ft. long, was lying on the mud. Upon being disturbed it moved away, and disappeared in the river. Mr. Drennan afterwards inspected the tracks of the reptile, and saw from the impressions made in the soft ground that it was what is known as an ordinary alligator, the same as are found in the North.
The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW)
Date: October 6, 1909
Page Number: 9
The Brisbane River alligator story is 18 years old, and owes its origin to a practical joice. A certain citizen, who is unreasonably bashful anent the incident, was presented, in the settlement founded by Captain Logan, by a Rockhampton friend with a couple of young alligators, because he said that their pelt was the only material out of which decent foot wear could be made. Unfortunately he made pets of the monsters, and suffered them to grow to maturity, and one night, with full grown saurian vigour, they butted against the backyard gate, and disappeared for aye to mortal ken, or nearly so. Then swimmers and fishermen began to disappear also. A man who had missed his ferry on a warm night swam across the Brisbane, or attempted to do so — for he never landed. Some two or three years afterwards an alligator, full-grown, was actually shot in the Brisbane, and men there be who wear on their feet the hide of him, imperishable, to this day. His mate, however, may reasonably be supposed to have died, or gone out to sea, years ago; for the resuscitated crocodilian vision, or reptilian recrudescence, may be anything from a dugong to a water serpent, so conflictingly unconvincing are the impressions of the single sighter of this river horror.
The Brisbane Courier (Qld)
Date: February 13, 1926
Page Number: 5
It was narrated yesterday that Mr. Jas. Burton of Kedron, was rather pleased at the acquisition of a 6ft. alligator. "The circumstance," writes Mr. A. Pixley, "reminds me of an incident that occurred over 30 years ago when I shared with the late Claude Musson some business premises in Elizabeth-street, on the site now occupied by the 'Worker' offices. One day friend Musson called me, and showed with pride in his office a young alligator, about 4 to 5 ft. long, in a somewhat flimsy cage, a nasty, snappy creature, that bit and crunched up the sticks we prodded him with. Two days later Musson stepped across the passage into my office and told me with some agitation that the alligator had 'got out' and he thought was about the building somewhere. Instinctively drawing up my feet under the chair, I replied that it served him right for bringing such an objectionable 'pet' into a city building. From that day to this I never discovered or heard what became of that snappy alligator but I do know that for a full week later both Musson and myself kept our legs elevated on chairs when sitting at our respective tables."
Claude Musson