Empire - Sydney
Date: May 2, 1871
THE SUPPOSED ILLAWARRA GORILLA.
SINCE the report of the strange animal seen by Mr. George Osborne, on the Avondale ranges; and which he supposes was a gorilla, has appeared, speculations regarding the existence and species of that natural curiosity have been rife in this district.
Several parties have been exploring the bush and gullies in the supposed whereabouts of his gorillaship during the past fortnight, but without success. On Wednesday last a party of between twenty and thirty gentlemen assembled in the vicinity indicated, with dogs, ropes, and firearms, but after considerable wanderings had been made by some of the party, and much patient waiting on the part of others, evening closed on the expedition without their having obtained either scent or sight of the gorilla.
Strange steps and marks were noticed up the side of a fig tree in one of the gullies explored, and as the peculiar formation of the tree provided a hiding place near the upper part of the trunk, it was cut down by several willing hands, but on the tree being laid low, an old man opossum made his appearance instead of the gorilla.
It is to be hoped the animal may be captured without delay, and as there is some talk of an expedition being started in Sydney for the purpose, the young men of this district should bestir themselves, and not allow others to carry away the praise and profit as well as the prize involved in the strange affair.
A person who has resided on the Balli Mountain for several years positively asserts that an animal similar to that seen by Mr. Osborne, but considerably larger, has been seen in the bush in that locality more than once, and by different persons, and that no dogs can be found to face it.
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