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New Zealand cryptid, Polynesian cryptid
Freshwater cryptid, Swamp-dwelling
Carnivore, Aquatic, Out-of-place, Presumably extinct
The Masterton monster was a cryptid encountered once on the Ruamahanga River in New Zealand in the late 19th century. In May of 1883, a large, fearsome, semi-aquatic creature was seen around the Ruamahanga River, which was described as having a broad muzzle, stubby legs, and curly hair. The locals of Masterton, which is just west of the river the creature lived in, feared for their cattle, and let their hunting dogs kill the animal. The locals watched as the dog that noticed the creature first was brutally killed and mutilated by the creature, and the other dogs fled the opposite direction with their tails between their legs.
An article about the encounter was written on the May 9th, 1883 issue of the New Zealand times, but remained obscure until it was featured in Charles Fort’s book Lo!. This report is interesting, as no known mammals are native to New Zealand outside of seals, whales and bats, although the mysterious, now extinct “St. Bathans mammal” existed on the island until about 15 million years ago. Some speculate the Masterton monster is the same cryptid as the waitoreke.