Date: 5th September, 1999
Source: Daily Mail
Reporter: Simon Kearney
Title: "Yowie zap plan fizzles"
AN AUDACIOUS plan to hunt for the legendary ape-like bush creature, the yowie, has been dashed -- by Customs officials. They have refused American Big Foot hunter Larry Lesh permission to import stun guns for the expedition.
"No jurisdiction in Australia allows such weapons," a Customs spokesman said. Mr. Lesh was hoping to track down and catch a yowie -- the Australian cousin to North America's Big Foot -- which is believed to live along the Great Dividing Range.
"The idea was to close within 21 feet (6.4m) of a yowie and shoot," Mr. Lesh said. "Twin barbs would penetrate the yowie's skin and then 50,000 volts would bring him down. "A couple of plastic riot cuffs for the wrists and feet and you've just captured a yowie." A Gold Coast yowie hunter says what's really needed to hunt the elusive creature is night-vision cameras.
"That's the equipment we need to get the evidence,'' said Dean Harrison, who claims to have come face to face with a yowie near Beenleigh in 1997. "It roared like a bear and a lion in one," he said. "It had a vocal capacity no human could match." The most recent sighting was at Springbrook in July where the beast was blamed for the death of some horses.
Mr. Harrison said he wanted to arrange an expedition in the Blue Mountains this month, using night-vision equipment to record images. Asian exotic animal specialist at the Australian National University Dr Helmut Loofs-Wissowa said there was evidence of similar creatures in Asia and called on the skeptics to prove they did not exist.
But ANU colleague, human evolutionist Dr Alan Thorne, disagreed. "I'd be perfectly happy to cuddle a yowie if you show me one," he said. "I'm not convinced because we don't have the evidence."
[Dean Harrison had no knowledge of any Tazer plans until he was contacted by a journalist who informed him his name was on a Customs Registry due to Larry Lesh, who was trying to export them from America and used A.Y.R. as grounds for the scheme].
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