Devil Pig : Large, piglike Hoofed Mammal or Marsupial of Australasia.
Gazeka, Monckt on’s gazeka.
Dark skin with patterned markings. Length, 5 feet . Shoulder height , 3 feet 6 inches or greater. Long snout. Horselike tail. Even-toed (cloven) feet.
Owen Stanley Range, Papua New Guinea.
Ancient stone carvings depicting strange animals with long, trunklike snouts were first found in 1962 in the Ambun Valley.
Huge (rhinoceros-sized) excrement was found by the crew of the HMS Basilisk on the northeast Papuan coast in the 1870s. Dung from feral pigs, which are the largest Papuan ungulates, is less substantial.
Two native Papuans, Private Ogi and the village constable Oina, saw two large, porcine animals on Mount Albert Edward, Papua New Guinea, on May 10, 1906. Ogi tried to shoot one, but his hands shook, and he misfired.
(1) A feral Domestic pig (Sus scrofa var.domesticus) is rarely larger than 2 feet 6 inches at the shoulder.
(2) The Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) is odd-toed and not found as far east as New Guinea.
(3) The Babirussa (Babyrousa babyrussa), found in Sulawesi, Indonesia, is not a close match.
(4) A Papuan occurrence of the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is unlikely.
(5) A Long-nosed echidna (Zaglossus bruijni), especially a newly hatched juvenile, might account for the Ambun sculptures.
(6) A surviving diprotodont marsupial, such as the tapirlike Palorchestes or the rhinoceros-like, nasal-horned Nototherium.
Most of New Guinea’s native mammals are marsupials, making these large animals viable possibilities for the Devil pig. The snouted Palorchestes seems particularly akin to the animal depicted in the Ambun stones. The last diprotodonts are thought to have died out in Australia between 18,000 and 6,000 years ago.
- Alfred O. Walker, “The Rhinoceros in New Guinea,” Nature 11 (1875): 248, 268;
- Adolf Bernhard Meyer, “The Rhinoceros in New Guinea,” Nature 11 (1875): 268;
- Charles A. W. Monckt on, Some Experiences of a New Guinea Resident Magistrate (London: John
- Charles A. W. Monckt on, Last Days in New Guinea (London: John Lane, 1922), pp. 52–56;
- Charles A. W. Monckt on, New Guinea Recollections (London: John Lane, 1934), pp. 214–215;
- W. G. Heptner, “Über das Java-Nashorn auf Neu-Guinea,” Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 25 (1960): 128–129;
- “A Remarkable Stone Figure from the New Guinea Highlands,” Journal of the Polynesian Society 74 (1965): 78–79;
- Laurent Forge, “Un marsupial géant survit -il en Nouvelle Guinée?” Amazone, no. 2 (January 1983): 9–11;
- James I. Menzies, “Reflections on the Ambun Stones,” Science in New Guinea 13 (1987): 170–173