Even though this creature, reportedly seen in the early 1870s in New Zealand, was described as many things by many different people, one thing it almost certainly was NOT was a gorilla. I’d actually believed that the gorilla as a species hadn’t been “officially” discovered (ancient Phoenician sailors left written documentation of encounters with them dating back to several centuries before the birth of Christ) until the early Twentieth century, so how could there be references to a “gorilla” on the loose in Melanesia at a time before the animal was taxonomically classified? A little online research soon explained away this seeming contradiction; the subspecies of MOUNTAIN gorilla wasn’t discovered until 1902. Regular gorillas were documented—again, officially—in the mid 1800s. Solves that problem.
What no amount of research will be able to explain is the wide variety of descriptions given to this mystery beast. Initial reports described a Sasquatch or even werewolf-like creature, covered with “sparse” hair and with big honking teeth, or “tusks.” But then people started describing it as something akin to a seal. THEN it was supposedly identified as an old, feral, but undeniably HUMAN female, a 175-year-old woman! Now the two simplest explanations for this are as follows: Considering the loose standards of journalistic integrity common in those days, it was ALL a bunch of hogwash. Otherwise, these witnesses were obviously all describing different creatures. And NONE of them were a gorilla.