Weisbarth's Crab is Lost

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Weisbarth's Crab is Lost


A colorful account of the Weisbarth incident, wherein an entire shipment of coconuts from Palmyra had to be burned because of a Lepidopterous infection. You can read more about that in other articles in the archive.

In this case, the article focuses on the other notable aspect of the incident, wherein Weisbarth brought back a Coconut Crab that was refused entry into Hawaii by local authorities.




Hawaiian Star




Public Domain





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The tree climbing wonder from Palmyra Island can not be found when it is announced that it must be chloroformed - has escaped into the hold of the vessel, will be found when cargo is discharged.

The Palmyra Island crab is lost.

Viking Weisbarth, battered by storms and buffeted by winds, though he was, did not forget his obligations to science on his recent trip with the little schooner Lavinia to that lonely isle. Along with his cargo of cocoanuts from which he hoped to recoup himself for expenses borne and perils encountered, he brought a specimen of the crab which climbs the tall cocoanut trees and helps himself to the fruit, intending it as a votive offering to science on the altar of the Bishop Museum.

When he arrived in this port, he made haste to tell the museum authorities. The matter became public and the guardian of the port, who is ever on the alert to keep out noxious animals stepped in and said the crab could not land alive. There is a dispute as to whether it was Dr. Monsarrat, the veterinarian, who issued the flat, or whether it was the entomologist of the Board of Agriculture and Forestry forbade the bans, so to speak.

Some claim it must have been the veterinarian because a crab is not a bug. Others claim it must have been the entomologist because a crab is not a horse. At any rate it was announced that the crab would have to be chloroformed before it could be brought ashore. Dr. Brigham went to the wharf ready to chloroform the creature, when, lol and behold, it could not be found.

It had escaped into the hold of the vessel, and is supposed to be having a few square meals on the cocoanuts there. When Morgan sells the cocoanuts tomorrow, it is hoped the crab will be found. If it is, it will be chloroformed.

Original Format



“Weisbarth's Crab is Lost,” Palmyra Archive, accessed October 28, 2020, http://palmyraarchive.org/items/show/136.


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