Australia has many strange and exotic animals that reside nowhere else in the world and the Bunyip (also known as the Kianpraty) is no exception. This cryptid makes it home in creeks, rivers, waterholes, swamps and billabongs, and are reported to be just as dangerous as a crocodile. However, the aggressiveness if the Bunyip may be due to it protecting its home or territory.
The physical description is now well defined. Some reports state it looks like a large star fish with one appendage supporting a dog like head, and the opposite side appendage has a horse like tail. The other limbs end in large claw-like talons. The body is covered in short, shaggy, grey hair. Further descriptions state that it looks like a manatee, or hippopotamus with walrus type tusks.
There is some conjecture the Bunyip is actually a relative of a long deceased dinosaur known as the Diprotodon (giant wombat) and that the aborigine peoples kept the Bunyip alive in their stories, legends, and lore. Others believe is could be a wayward seal or walrus which has evolved in the swamps into the Banyip.
There have been bones and fossils found that have not been specifically identified as the Banyip, but the overall size and shape of the animals fit the description of a Banyip. Such a case was in 1818 at Lake Bathurst in New South Wales. Hamilton Hume located some large bones reported to look much like a hippopotamus or manatee. However, further recovery of the bones were not accomplished and soon interest was lost.
In the 1830s, a bushman named George Rankin made a discovery of a large quadruped that was much larger than an ox or buffalo. Thomas Mitchell. Sydney's Reverend John Dunmore Lang supported the conclusion of it being a possible Banyip. However, a British anatomist Sir Richard Owen identified it as being a Nototherium or a Diprotodon (giant marsupials).
The sightings continued and some were reported by well know people such as William Buckley who stated he had seen the cryptid several times in 1852. In modern days (today) the Bunyip is an accepted creature by the culture of the Australians. It is featured in books, songs, and movies. This cryptid seems to enjoy the acceptance of existence much more than Bigfoot. The local Aborigine people living on the land say it exists. Is it a difference between Australia and the US cultural attitudes the difference in acceptance?
Personally, I would believe the locals until science can prove them wrong.