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blades its bollock; those of the head and neck were it bore a mane and a tele emu; like those of a horse; it had the Hippers of a seal; in the nest of a platypus it laid turtle's eggs; at forth a night it gave booming struck terror into which the breasts sound heard it. of those who known It was throughout Australia and the north In Tasmania. there is a ready explanation—the crocodiles of the rivers and there might easily furnish a basis swamps in the south it is not for the fable. But easily explained. Coastal tribes might so seals for bunyips—but how have mistaken The about inland tribes? layman scoffs at the idea of seals being found in our inland is his scoffing justified? waters—but Since the early days of Tasmanian colon is a t i x> n been have in seen
bunyip of the
of the swamps many lakes of the is and Detailed land State. of them descriptions furnished been have man by colonists—one in one saw actually his. tales have The back-yard! been always
or a or
received with more less incredulity, fear dead specimen,
captured. Lake Tiberias, a marshy expanse in the Midlands, has long been 1852, In of bunyips. puted home
of water the re
before strange animal appear large animal." he wrote a
National Library of Australia
subsequently, "which, after watching him be a large must some time, I concluded the beast, devil." He fired at and wounded but, though some after glossy hairs were the recovered. never beast was wards found, seen Barwick said that he had never any
seal in appearance.
Seen in Lake
In 1908, Mr.
of the Scott, Curator received Launceston reports of a Museum, in been the vicinity seen "bunyip" having of lake It was "a large, pig-like Tiberias. taken of the animal." No great notice was reports,
in a swamp the North-west found on Miss Coast. Davis, of Campbell Town, who had told of the Midland bunyip previously, that story, the ani her and said repeated the pictures she had of seen mal resembled the reconstructed That diprotodon. opened some Were up a fresh field for speculation. of the diprotodons, giant marsupials thought to be long extinct, still alive, hiding in the and appearing at night? The idea swamps exploring, especially when was worth a Mr. Morris also said that he had noticed a like restored between the ness diprotodon and an animal which had constantly been seen in Lake Tiberias. Then of the another description came Tiberias bunyip. This time is was "midway dog," between a badger (wombat) and a
What is the bunyip—that fearsome animal describe as emerging at night from the swamps, tiring of its crayfish diet, eating humans?
Scientists say that the
which the aboriginals used to with weird cries, and at times,
bunyip of the blacks can only be a fabulous beast; but the experience of an angler at the Great Lake, in Tasmania, this year, may furnish the solution of the problem, or at least reveal the foundation on which fables, was the fable, like most based. This solution is that the bunyip is nothing more less than a seal which nor taken hrn to fresh water for a change.
appeared before him.
often been car had had not been seen.
he had often tried to catch the than that his dogs had on more
He light animal,
first-hand another of a bunyip he had Mr. Scott headed
lake in hope of cap But diprotodon. they saw turing a could not be nothing. The boy's statements alter interviewing him, Mr. shaken, and that what he Scott came to the conclusion The lad said that It was had seen a seal. "sat up and looked like a calf."
So the mystery of the Tiberias bunyip re seal. swear mains. Residents that it is no is miles from Lake Tiberias, they say, many have the sea, and a seal to reach it would traverse rocky, mountainous to country which no seal worthy of the name would un dertake.
to the Great Lake, that In on land sea the very roof of Tasmania, which which supplies the water gives Tas Now
its wonderful mania hydro-electric scheme. Mountains surround is the lake, which over 3000 feet above level, and in the sea winter become they white with snow. At times gales lash the water to fury, making it impossible fen: the boats which trou6 Its use. fishermen is outlet the Shannon now River, which flows from which the great dam has been constructed at the southern end, and this river, till it joins the Ouse, is led into
feed the hydro-electric huge pipes which and turbines at Waddamana, give Tasmania its 75,000 horse-power of electric energy. is not The overflow, that water which taken into the pipes, runs a precipitous hill down side, a drop of over 1000 feet, till it joins the Ouse.
the only outlet of the lake, and it important in view of what took place this and flow The Ouse the Shannon year. through wild country, through gorges, and fierce over rapids, to the Derwent River, 100 miles away, over and the sea. This
for nearly a century "bunyips" have Lake. In 1863 been reported in the Great of an Headlam, old and a member Charles family, was rowing cm respected Tasmanian his oar the Great Lake, with his son, when about the size of nearly hit a large animal the water a dog, which disappeared under "an extremely In 1868, a Francis McPartland, intelligent and apparently truthful youth," in the lake at different saw several animals three or four feet long, places. They were "seemed to be playing about." They and the water, and their backs above showed like a dog." They their heads were "rough, in color, and darkish swam were about* three or four together. Several shepherds, last century, reported resembl having seen an animal, very much the about black ing a sheep dog, swimming lake. They thought that what they saw vmf a huge platypus, four or five feet long.
things belong to the
seals could to the Great
past, suid have
of the rough
bush, has been
his fly into the lake in
trout, he de
seal, at him
out of the water
he got back
since. to the
recount their which just
by actually weighed
he what persisted that had seen was no mere fancy, but he was told the victim of some that he was practical joke. To date, however, the joker or jokers have not been found, and either Mr. Parker was suffering from some hallucination, the or Lake bunyips which have haunted the Great have at last been explained satisfactorily. After all, is it so impossible that seals could exist
performing in circuses
alise what able of.
on the islands round the Australian coast know that they are not the awkward beasts that they might be thought to be. And it has been proved again and again that they can and do live in fresh water—an English
extraordinary feats they |Those who have seen them
a exhibited seal for performing and during all that time it was kept in a fresh water tank. In Lake Baikal, 1600 feet above sea level and over 1000 miles from the sea, there is a species of seal living in the fresh water. At one time its ancestors must have made their way from the sea, just as the salmon do to-day. other Various "bunyips" seen by white
in Australia bear out the theory that legendary aboriginal beast is the seal. In 1872 a bunyip, with all the appearar-ce of a seal, was in Midgeon seen Lagoon, 16 miles north of Narrandera, and other "bunyips" have been seen on the mainland and in Tas It is not mania. so long since a strange animal found sunning itself on a beach on the West Coast of Tasmania proved to be a it, seal, thought those who saw deceived by the marks it made the sand, as it dragged on
larger than it was, and still hold that it was no seal but some bunyip-esque monster. There to be explained but remains the booming sounds of the Tasmanian "bunyips." A feasible explaination is that they were the
cry of the bittern, a bird of such remarkable protective coloration that it is seldom seen.
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