A lioness in Victoria,Australia in 1933

Thursday 8th December 2022


I found the following story in the Mail (Adelaide) of November 18th,1933: “

Seen at Farm
MELBOURNE, Saturday.
“The mystery beast that lurks in the dense undergrowth seven miles from Toora, in Gippsland, has been seen again. By slinking into the open near a farm house and escaping, it has intensified the uneasiness of the townspeople.
Farmers believe that it is an escaped lioness. A party of armed farmers will probably hunt for it tomorrow. It was seen yesterday by Eric Fink, a lot farmer in the Mount Best district, but after he ran into the house to get a rifle it disappeared.
Fink has reported in Toora that he was working near his house with two other men, when, on looking up, he saw a strange animal much larger than any dog moving in the dense bracken near a gully.
Others saw it, and agreed that it must be the “lioness,” for it was much too big to be a dog and was a light fawn color.
Fink ran to the house to get his rifle and bullets, but when he returned the animal could not be seen. He tried to follow its tracks without success.
Yesterday six men went out with rifles to track down the strange animal, but they could not pick up its trail. At least nine parents in the area will not allow their children to go to the State school. They fear that the animal will attack them.
They believe that the mystery beast escaped from a travelling circus within the past few months, but little was seen of it until recently.
A week ago two farm hands said It was 3 ft. high and 6 ft. long, they said. Three days later the skin and bones of  a wallaby which had been gnawed by an animal were found. The following day two cows were snatched from their paddock.
Now nobody will venture near the fringe of the scrub in which the “lioness” lurks,
without a gun or a dog to give warning.
Richard Muirhead
Richard Muirhead has been a friend of the CFZ longer than anyone else. He first ,et Jon Downes in 1970 when they were both living in Hong Kong. They have been friends ever since.