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New Zealand Gorilla 1870
Yowie / Bigfoot

Empire (Sydney, NSW)
Date: October 8, 1870
Page Number: 4
The Thames Advertiser has the following respecting an extraordinary animal which has been captured at Porter's Creek:--

"This animal was caught in a swamp by dogs; the legs, or arms and legs, were tied, and it was lodged in a vacant room in Mr. Baker's store. And now for the description. This Maori gorilla has, it is stated, a head somewhat like a native, but two tusks stick out, one on each side of the head. There is a large tuft of hair on the top of the head. The body is as dark as that of a Maori, with hair on the arms and legs. He grunts somewhat like a pig. So far for the description. The animal is apparently miscellaneous enough in his feeding, for we are informed that he eats potatoes, pie crust, and nuts. We are informed that he is to be brought over here for public exhibition, and we must say we should like to see him. Since writing the above we have received some further and, in some part, contradictory particulars. The animal, or monster, has been living with the natives for a long time, although it is now, as stated above, in the keeping of Mr. Baker. It would almost appear that the famous 'missing link' has been discovered at last. The natives say that it is 100 yearn old, and that it is a 'tupuna' or ancestor. Thus it seems they are not so proud as we are, who do not care about believing that we are descended from monkeys. These natives are not prejudiced, and the learned Professors Huxley and Darwin would hail them as men after their own hearts. Two gentlemen were yesterday over at Wharekawa, and offered a pretty large sum for this animal, which is to decide the development theory, but the negotiation for its possession is not concluded."
new_zealand_gorilla_1870001005.jpg new_zealand_gorilla_1870001004.jpg new_zealand_gorilla_1870001003.jpg new_zealand_gorilla_1870001003.jpg
Charles Robert Darwin, FRS
(12 February 1809 19 April 1882)
English naturalist.
Thomas Henry Huxley PC FRS
(4 May 1825 29 June 1895)
English biologist (anatomist), known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW)
Date: October 12, 1870
Page Number: 4
In the province of Auckland a report was circulated that a real live gorilla had been discovered. On this the Thames Advertiser remarks :--

"We are sorry to disappoint our readers, more especially with reference to any interesting question in natural history, but it now appears that the reported Maori gorilla is no gorilla at all. In point of fact, the Maori gorilla turns out to be an old woman. Profossor Huxley must therefore wait for some time for the confirmation of the development theory by the discovery of the 'missing link.' We cannot give him any assistance. The statements which found their way to the public on this subject give but a faint idea of the wild rumours afloat in the town on the matter. We understand that two gentlemen went over to get this most notable creature for public exhibition, and after a long walk came to the place where she was kept. There they were shown a poor old woman, who really, in some respects, is as great a curiosity as the gorilla itself would be. She has been as she is, it seems, beyond the memory of all who know her, and has attained, it is said, the patriarchal age of 175. How this estimate has been arrived at we do not know, and so cannot guarantee its correctness. Her hair has dropped off, except a small tuft at the top, and altogether she is such a wonder that the gentlemen who went to buy a gorilla would willingly have made terms for her if her relations had permitted."

Another journal says :--

"A rumour was going the rounds that a company was being formed for the purchase of the supposed gorilla, and that some person with more money than brains had been induced to pay 250 for a one-eighth share in the concern. There is no limit to the absurdity in these days, and it is, therefore, just possible that some persons may be inveigled into the 'sell'. Hitherto we have only been treated with glimpses of pictures of this mysterious animal, said pictures smacking strongly of the poetic fancy of some playful photographer. We should now like to see the real animal, and we trust that the photographers will not be so selfish as to keep the mysterious creature out of sight for the mere sake of stimulating the demand for the pictures."
Yowieocalypse has yet to find the photograph. Any assistance would be welcome...