Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 19th, 2011
GORILLA LOOSE IN MARYLAND.
Mighty Fear Comes Over the People and Tall Tales Are Told.
RIDGLEY, Md.,– Several weeks ago a gorilla escaped from a circus
at Seaford, Del., and has since been reported at various places on the
peninsula. Its probable presence has caused terror among farmers and
travellers on the public roads. John Dyer said last night that he saw a
strange-looking animal which looked like the gorilla. It was on the edge of
a “cripple,” as a tree-grown marsh is called, on the west side of the Great
Choptank River, a few miles from here. Dyer says that he first observed the
animal about 11 o’clock in the morning, and that it fled into the cripple.
He says he saw it again about 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
Dyer was visited to-day by Rudolph Cephus of Denton, a mighty hunter of
these parts. Cephus was on a ducking expedition, armed with a heavy ducking
gun and he tried to trace the gorilla in the hope of getting a shot at it.
He discovered some “queer tracks,” he says, resembling those of a bear, but
was unable to come to close quarters.
An effort is being made to gather a party to go in search of the gorilla in
the morning and to scour the cripples along the Choptank. The excitement
among the negroes along the Delaware line since the escape of the animal has
been intense and they have kept closely at home at night.
Frank Biles, colored, was nearly killed on Tuesday night of last week. He
says the gorilla did it. He was attacked near Bethel campground, Delaware.
Biles was riding a wheel to Cannons, when he was attacked. The animal threw
him from the wheel and dealt him a heavy blow with his fist. The man pulled
his revolver and shot twice, making his escape to Cannons. Upon reaching
Cannons he was unable to speak for some time. A crowd gathered about the
man. His clothing was in shreds and an ugly wound was over the ear. A
posse of fifty men was formed t o apprehend the animal, but could not come
up with it.
Source: New York, New York, The Sun, December 4, 1901, p. 10
Thanks to Chuck Flood for this account.