- It looks like this was simply a publicity stunt by
the museum to generate interest in their new Dino replicas at the park
Bill Van Halewyn
- Residing in NZ, and being avid follower of the news,
I suggest the article re "mystery creature roams auckland park"
is a hoax! The description of the park and several other items do not ring
true besides having looked at the date of the article and comparing it
to todays date, means that if it was factual, something would have been
on the news and it hasn't! our media is very open when comes to such things
and hence i strongly suggest a hoax!
- We also received this...
- Caption: Jo Lees has an unexpected visitor in
the Auckland Domain. Dryosaur is a new attraction being launched today
at the Auckland Museum. Picture / Brett Phibbs
- Original Article...
- Something mighty strange is at large in Auckland and
appears to be making its home in the Domain. The creature for it is definitely
an animal only comes out at night. Then, it roams free through the huge
park, leaving behind large, never-before-seen footprints, and unusual,
- Alarmed early-morning joggers say trees are freshly scratched
when they run the paths in the early morning. Its as if someone, or some
beast, is trying to climb the trees. Of course, there must be a perfectly
good explanation for all this. The problem is, nobody knows what the answer
could be. Even the boffins in the white museum at the top of the hill,
who are surely the best people in town at nutting out the mysteries, are
at odds over what kind of brute could have taken up residence nearby. They
agree on only one thing - its a life form. But not as we know it.
- Glenys Stace is the museum's spokesperson on the new
park resident. She pauses gravely before speaking. Her usually twinkling
blue eyes are subdued as she gives full weight to the puzzle that experts
like her have been asked to solve. "It's come tour attention, from
people using the Domain, that strange things have been appearing,"
she begins. "It's possible this creature is hanging around."
Her caution is understandable.
The creature has left behind many footprints to be examined
- The author, researcher and intrepid explorer of the natural
world is well aware that one wild claim too far will make her "the
laughing-stock" of the scientific community. Stace and other scientists
are now studying the clues that the creature has left, and she warily agrees
to clarify what they know so far. Most of the activity is occurring in
the vicinity of the duck pond, and on the front steps of the Auckland War
Memorial Museum. The pond, she argues, could be its water source.
- The scratches on the trees point to the fact that the
beast is a plant-eater, and probably prefers Australian Kauri. The footprints
show it has three toes and its not a mammal, which has either five toes,
like us, or hooves, like a cow. The "quite unusual droppings",
usually of great interest to scientists, are thought to be from a decent-sized
animal. But tests to this point have drawn a complete blank as to what
kind. Stace says the first thing they thought was that the rogue had escaped
from the Auckland Zoo. That was quickly ruled out. There are no animals
missing and nothing at the zoo fits the bill.
- Someone suggested that the creature could be an ostrich.
No, they have only two toes. A wild guess that the creature could even
be a moa, which did have three toes, predictably, hasn't held water. The
shape of the prints are different, and more to the point, do not account
for the markings found near the footprints, which look like a tail being
dragged. Moa didn't have dragging tails. "That's quite a significant
mark. That makes us stop and think." The creature, Stace believes,
could "possibly be more reptile like". She puts her scientific
reputation on the line to say that it does not resemble the footprint of
any creature living in New Zealand today.
- She dismisses suggestions they could be dealing with
an undiscovered species, or even a hoax. "I'm a sceptical scientist.
I couldn't possibly comment on it being something the world doesn't know
about," she reasons. "If it was a hoax, I'm sure that someone
would have left more clues. There would be a path they wanted us to follow,
but there doesn't seem to be any pattern of logic." It now looks as
though a posse will be set up for overnight surveillance, in the hope of
catching the animal as it emerges from the dense bush of Parnell Gully,
where it is thought to be hiding during the day. As the interview draws
to a close, the scientist gives in to an unexpected moment of openness,
to reveal one last clue. "It would have to be something that, in appearance
at least, was like a small dinosaur, maybe a hipsylophodont." This
kind of dinosaur ranged 3m long and up to 2.5m high. It was known to roam
the glades of this country in the Cretaceous period about 65 million years
ago. But she rushes to correct herself: "Of course there aren't any
dinosaurs alive today. It's a puzzle. It's a terrible puzzle."