Monckton’s Gazeka

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 6th, 2006

What kind of animal do you think Monckton’s Gazeka might have been or is? Any ideas?

Gazeka

The Gazeka, a drawing by Marc Dupont, via Forge 1983.

From Jamaica’s Kingston Gleaner, here’s the interesting report published on June 27, 1910:

STRANGE RACE

DWELLERS OF A MOUNTAIN

[excerpt]

Not the least of the wonders discovered is a mysterious animal of gigantic size and fearsome aspect whose tracks have recently been reported in New Guinea [in the area that is now Papua New Guinea]. This animal at present goes by the name of Monckton’s "Gazeka," its presence in the mountains having been first indicated by Mr. C. A. W. Monckton, a former explorer in New Guinea. According to a native report of the appearance of the animal, it has a nose like a tapir and "a face like the devil."

Mr. Monckton, during his ascent of Mount Albert Edward in the west of British New Guinea, discovered the huge footprints and other indications of the very recent presence of some cloven-footed monster that had evidently been browsing on the grassy plains surrounding the lakes on the summit, at an elevation of about 12,500 feet.

Up to the departure of the present expedition no one has attempted to return to Mount Albert Edward and procure a specimen of the monster.

During Dr. Lorentz’s second attempt to reach the Snow Mountains, however, by way of the North River in Dutch New Guinea, one of his men reported having come across an enormous animal at an elevation of about 7,000 feet.

Whether this great beast is the same as that reported by Mr. Monckton from British territory remains to be proved.

It is currently held that neither tapirs nor rhinoceroses exist to the east of Wallace’s line. Will this monster when discovered prove to be some gigantic marsupial tapir?

Thanks to Jerry Clark of The Unidentified & Creatures of the Outer Edge: The Early Works of Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman for sending this one along.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.


19 Responses to “Monckton’s Gazeka”

  1. fuzzy responds:

    Those aren’t cloven hooves in the drawing ~ maybe a sloth?

  2. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    I thought some kind of pre or perihistoric sloth that survived in the jungle unmolested to that time.

  3. J. responds:

    I thought it might be a giant ground sloth too. here’s a link with info about them.

  4. pteroophia responds:

    It wasn’t that long ago that they found all those new species of plants and animals in New Guinea, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are many more

  5. MïK responds:

    The report is from 1910. Everyone at that time exaggerated the claims to help gain larger grants. Half of the work in this field of study is in getting the truth out of the chaff.

    So, with that in mind, I’d say we’re talking about an oversized tapir. After almost of century with no similar reports, it’s time to tuck this one away.

  6. flickerbulbcom responds:

    R.O.U.S. ?

  7. cradossk responds:

    only one problem with the giant sloth theory…. this ‘beast’ was supposedly sighted in PNG, not the americas. (Mind you, Tapirs as it stated it might be are only found in the americas aswell…)

    I like the idea of a giant mutant kangaroo 🙂

  8. One Eyed Cat responds:

    The claws in the drawing could be the artists way of making the animal appear very menacing to the polic. Such mistakes/suggestions are fairly common.

    Thinking rather large tapir Theport gives no specifics on it’ temperment, just hints at agressiveness.

  9. Mnynames responds:

    Tapirs are indigenous to the region. I even know of 2 cases of cryptozoological interest involving them or their kin- The first is Brevet’s Black Tapir (Tapirus indicus brevetianus). There are no all-black tapirs indiginous to the old world, and yet several were seen and caught living with their black and white cousins in Sumatra during the 1920’s. Although declared a distinct subspecies by science, they are much more likely to be a simple genetic mutation, and one that seems not to have recurred since that time. The second is the oddly named Tigelboat. Described in bizarre fashion as some sort of Chimera combining the qualities of tigers, cows, elephants, and chickens, it is actually a fairly mundane species of Tapir, known to have existed on Borneo until quite recently. Evidently reports of its extinction have proved premature. Its association with the tiger comes from the stripes patterning much of its back. So the Gazeka as Tapir seems likely.

  10. Mnynames responds:

    The cloven hooves are an oddity though, bringing to mind the Chalicotherium. I know they once lived in America and Africa, but don’t know whether they ever ranged into Asia at all.

  11. The_Master responds:

    It reminds me of the Giant Sloth that lived, and probably became extinct, during the Ice Age, because of the humans, or at least our ancestors.

  12. fuzzy responds:

    Then there’s the Sloth Bear in India: see National Geographic Magazine, November 2004, Page 82. (Other interesting animal-related articles in that Issue, too ~ remember magazines?)

  13. Mnynames responds:

    Yeah, the stance and the claws is somewhat suggestive of Megatherium (Giant Sloth) which might just conceivably still be cruising about the jungles of South America, but I was actually reminded of a different Pleistocene beast- The Macrauchenia. It’s more antelope like, at least the way it’s depicted today, but I had a hard plastic toy of one when I was a kid that had a thicker body, making it look more like this depiction.

  14. Arkansan_88 responds:

    Well I’ve read the blog and seen the photo. I was reminded of the Mapinguari of Brazil. It is supposedly a giant sloth type monster. Brazil and New Guinea are far from each other so it’s not likely that the Mapinguari and the Gazeka are the same thing.

  15. U.T. Raptor responds:

    giant sloths (and small ones) are exclusively New World animals, as I believe the group which Macrauchenia belongs to is also.

    However, there was a marsupial named Palorchestes that fits the description pretty well. I don’t know whether they ever lived in New Guinea, though…

  16. CryptoInformant responds:

    The closest thing I can think of to this is Moropus, but I’m not even sure that’s still a valid name.

  17. CryptoInformant responds:

    Moropus is valid, and, even better, it lived in ASIA! It’s a large, all clawed Chalicothere, but its toes on the back feet are close enough together to be mistaken for hooves. May have had a short trunk.

  18. jculme responds:

    I must declare at once that I am no expert on animals, let alone mysterious ‘lost’ creatures such as ‘Monckton’s Gazeka.’ But I must tell you that the Gazeka, a mythical beast, was the invention of the well-known English comic actor, George Graves (1876-1949), who introduced it as a bit of by-play in the musical, The Little Michus at Daly’s Theatre, London, in 1905. As a result, Graves’s little idea became a fad of the season and a competition was mounted to encourage artists to give sketches of the Gazeka. Charles Folkard won the competition and the Gazeka suddenly appeared in the form of various items of novelty jewellery, charms, etc, and was taken up by Perrier, the sparking water makers, for a series of advertisements. The Gazeka also featured in a special song and dance in the entertainment Akezag, at the London Hippodrome at Christmas, 1905. You will find further information and a photograph from Akezag at my Footlight Notes website.

  19. valst responds:

    Monckton’s Gazeka Positively Identified:
    Living “prehistoric creatures”of PNG




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