Moe Beast

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.)
Date: November 18, 1902
Page Number: 6
MOE, Monday.
     Excitement has been caused among the farmers residing on the banks of the Latrobe River, three miles from Moe, by the appearance of a strange animal. Several of those who have seen it describe the beast as being about 3ft. in height, black hair, short neck, long tail. It travels along panting, with its tongue out nearly touching the ground. When first seen it was at a tub of skimmed milk at Cosgriff's farm. The dogs were set on to it, and the animal made its way through the undergrowth to the bank of the river, and then disappeared. It is supposed to have got on to a small island in the centre of the Latrobe River, known as Spike Island. On a second visit the dogs saw the creature and it made off, dashing through the woodwork of the gate and tearing the hinges off it. Several shots have been fired at it, but none have apparently taken effect. Parties are organising to go out every night until the animal is captured. It is surmised that the visitor has at some time or other escaped from a travelling show.
Strange Animals
A Strange Animal.

Morwell Advertiser (Morwell, Vic.)
Date: November 21, 1902
Page Number: 3
On Sunday evening, 2nd inst., the homestead at Mr Cosgriff's farm, which is situated 3 miles from Moe, was alarmed by the appearance of a strange looking animal helping itself to some skim-milk. Miss Cosgriff, who first noticed the animal, raised the alarm, and the other members of the family arriving on the scene, summoned the dogs who succeeded in frightening the animal, which made off towards some under- growth not very far distant. The dogs followed the intruder, but he was equal to his enemies and shook them off as if he were tossing bones into the air. When the party followed up the pursuit, the animal had made good his escape, and it is thought made across the Latrobe River to Spike Island. No conclusion could be arrived at as to the specie of the creature. It is described as being something like a huge bear, and has been heard making its way to the respective farms in the neighbourhood, its tramp, it is said, resembling that of a baby elephant. Its visits have been confined principally to farms of Messrs Cosgriff and Pool (late Bartlett's). It was suggested that the visitor was a huge wombat, but as young Cosgriff is familiar with the latter animal, he says it is no wombat.
     On Thursday evening last, Mr Alex. M'Lean and Mr Bert. Savige (accompanied by Willie Ellis), drove out to Mr Cosgriff's farm, armed to the teeth, and on death determined. The night was dark, but the animal nevertheless put in an appearance. Willie Ellis was left in charge of the horses. Two shots were fired, but as the moon was obscured, and the rain was falling in torrents, true aim was out of the question. The animal in its exit, passed the lad Ellis, and what followed can only be imagined, as the latter let the horses "slide," and they galloped towards Cosgriffs house, where they made a halt. When the animal was first seen at Peel's, it caused equal consternation as at Cosgriff's. It is said that it dashed through the gate at the latter homestead, wrenching the hinges off. Anyhow the hinges were brought into Messrs Haigh Bros. to be straightened, and that was really the first news that reached Moe about the mysterious intruder. It is surmised that the animal may be a bear or some other animal that might have effected his liberty from some passing show.
     On Saturday evening "Jim" Cosgriff had another encounter with the strange animal, as he was on his way home from Moe. Being unarmed he could only beat him off his greyhound with a stick, when the monster made his way through the undergrowth towards the river. On Sunday night a number of townsmen visited the neighbourhood where the animal has been seen. Rifles, revolvers and other weapons of defence were in readiness had he put an appearance, but up to midnight there was no sign of the creature. The locality was searched in all directions without success. It is more than probable, that before the week is out that animal will be captured, dead or alive, as Messrs Cosgriff, Mulvenna and Con. Savige will be out every night to give him a warm reception when he leaves his hiding place.
Chronicle (Adelaide, SA)
Date: December 6, 1902
Page Number: 27
Tantanoola appears to be the home of strange animals. Not content with the ex- citement caused some time ago by the mysterious "Tantanoola Tiger," which was eventually killed, the residents of Moe, in the Gippsland district, have created an other savage beast of a nondescript character, which is roaming the district and causing a distinct sensation. This ferocious animal, which is thought to have strayed from Tantanoola, was first discovered lapping up a tub of skimmed milk at a farmyard, and it is surmised that the mysterious creature escaped from a travelling show. They said that of the Tantanoola "tiger," but the explanation is too thin for a travelling showman, who could get out of Moe with enough money to carry him to the next town, would probably offer up a song of praise, but if in the event of his having a menagerie, which is unlikely, he were to lose a specimen, he would probably sit himself down on the bank of the Latrobe River and howl like a dingo over his loss. However, if Moe has a penchant for mysterious animals, I for one am not going to rob the district of its latest discovery, so here goesó

In the famous Gippsland wilds,
Where the river swiftly runs,
With a faith just like a child's
Men adventure out with guns.
For reports are going round,
Of their truth doubt not the least,
That the residents have found
An atrocious,
Most precocious,
And ferocious savage beast.

Tantanoola long ago,
Had a tiger roaming there,
And the local records show
In the bush he made his lair.
'Twas an angry, snarling brute,
That evaded ev'ry call.
Till the farmers, growing cute,
Tried to pot him,
And they got him,
For they shot him after all.

But the horrid Moe beast
Would make any hero quail,
He is three feet high at least.
With a most prodigious tail,
And his hair is very black.
And his neck is very short,
So to catch him there's no lack
Of delighting,
Tho' affrighting,
And exciting local sport.

When the farmers saw him first,
Nay, I prithee, do not laugh,
He appeared to have a thirst
And drank milk just like a calf.
And by some eternal law,
As he gave them all leg-bail,
They are certain that they saw,
For a second.
So they reckoned,
That he beckoned with his tail.

He can swim like any fish,
And he crossed the river wide.
While his stalkers could but wish
They were on the other side.
They've with guns, when well in range.
Tried the animal to pot,
And account it very strange,
While he muses.
Them he loses.
And refuses to be shot.

Now it isn't very nice
To such experts at the game,
For a man to give advice,
Yet I do it all the same.
Take of salt a little pinch,
'Tis a method will not fail.
And when you this monster clinch,

Treat him shyly,
For he's wily,
Drop it slyly on his tail.