From the Wanganui Herald Volume XXI, Issue 6363, Page 2, 8th November 1887
‘Some months ago the Auckland papers were full of accounts of a mysterious monster that cleared carcasses out of slaughterhouses, chased children, left peculiar tracks in the mud, etc, but for some time there had been no mention of it. It appears now however that the stranger has been caught, and shot.
We take the following account of its capture from a letter of a Hamilton correspondent to the Auckland Star :- It appears that a native, whilst fishing in his canoe just off the South Spit of the Raglan Harbour, on Friday, observed, on looking towards the shore, a large animal, apparently slumbering on the beach. He immediately gave the alarm, and the natives assembled in numbers on the beach with guns. The monster, on being approached, opened its mouth grunting, barking and snapping its ugly jaws. Rawiri fired at its head and hit him, the bullet taking no effect. Another native then fired and wounded him in the side. Upon approaching it, the animal put its arms, wings or flappers in front of its head as a mode of defence, but being severely wounded could offer no resistance. A rope was then fastened round its neck. About a dozen Maoris took it in tow to the Raglan Wharf, on to which it was landed by means of a crane. After being killed it was found to be 11 feet in length, and 6 feet in circumference. It has two large arms or flappers. Its tail consisted of two large propellers opening out like the web foot of a duck. It was covered with a fine fur and had no ears, but openings in its skin. It had 16 teeth in each jaw, four of them being like tusks. The head has been preserved. It is supposed to be a sea elephant. The skin is also preserved. It weighs between 6 and 7 ….
The NZ Herald’s correspondent on Monday last wired as follows:- The Raglan mail carrier, who arrived today, describes the saurian monster shot on Friday as being much larger than any seal, with different teeth and a mouth that could swallow a man. It roared like a bull when shot and could be heard for a long distance. The native policeman, Rawiri, who shot it, asks £20 for the skin, head and legs, which are prepared for stuffing.’
The Taranaki Herald Volume XXXVI, Issue 8012, Page 4, on November 3rd however, were slightly more dramatic in their description of the beast.
‘The mystery of the saurian monster which developed from an animal of the alligator species to one having the head of a tiger, has been cleared up. The Castleton boys, after all, were not drawing much on their imagination. Its head is like that of a leopard, with two rows of formidable teeth, 12 in each row. Skin of a light grey silver colour…On opening the body two pouch-like stomachs were found full of birds and feathers. One of our more enterprising settlers has purchased the monster, with a view of exhibiting throughout New Zealand, Australia and through the United Staes and Europe.’