International Sea Serpent Reports
A Strange Creature.
The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW)
Date: February 25, 1888
Page Number: 8
Count Joachim Pfell, the German African explorer, gives the following account of a mysterious creature seen on the coast of Ulanga district :
"We often saw an animal in the water which we first believed to be a serpent from its movements, and from the fact that every now and then it appeared on the surface for a few seconds. Once, we shot at it, we were surprised to see it rise out of the water and fly away. Afterward we succeeded in obtaining one of the curious creatures. It was about the size of a large tame duck, with black plumage and a metallic lustre. On its wings we noticed a very few light yellow feathers. The neck was very long and thin, and ended in a long, pointed beak, at the edge of which were two rows of sharp teeth. At first sight no head was visible, and the neck appeared only to end in a beak. The whole body of the bird is under water while swimming, only the long neck being seen. If it was frightened it disappeared under the water, or flew rapidly away. Another peculiarity which we noticed was that when the bird had left the water it lay down on a bush with outstretched wings, to get dry. The flesh of this creature has an unpleasant, oily flavour."
—Pall Mall Gazette.
African Darter (Anhinga rufa) and its distribution.