Coromandel

Wildm an of Australasia.

Etymology: From the mountain range. Variant names: Forest taniwah, Hairy moehau, Matau, Moehau monster, Toangina, Tu-uhourangi.

Physical description: Covered with red or silver hair.

Habitat: Caves.

Distribution: Coromandel Range, Waikato River, and Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand; Cameron Mountains, Mil-ford Wilderness, and Lake Wakatipu, South Island, New Zealand.

Significant sightings: In 1878, gold prospectors on Martha Hill in Waihi reported large, long-haired man-beasts carrying stone knives, hand axes, and wooden clubs.

Large, five-toed, humanlike footprints were found embedded in mud along a creek in 1903 by miners in the Karangahake Gorge.

In early February 1952, hunters Douglas Tainvhana and Roy Norman got a fleeting glimpse of a hairy man running along a track on the Coromandel Peninsula.

In 1963, Carl McNeil saw an apelike creature running along a track bed on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Trevor Silcox was hunting wild pig with a companion in the Coromandel Range in 1972 when they spotted a 6-foot, naked man covered with dark hair moving through the scrub. Four tracks measuring 14 inches long and 7 inches wide were found.

Possible explanation: A surviving remnant of postulated pre-Maori inhabitants of New Zealand.

Sources: Craig Heinselman, "Hairy Maeroero," Crypto 4, no. 1 (January 2001): 2326; Rex Gilroy, Giants from the Dreamtime: The Yowie in Myth and Reality (Katoomba, N.S.W., Australia: URU, 2001).

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