Gus - Ferus Caputus Pangotus
Wild Hammerhead
Often mistaken for good humoured,
Gus is simply dazed.
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he Wild Hammerhead lists a recorded pedigree leading to such far off relatives as the Three toed Sloth and the common North American Raccoon. Born without visual receptors, these beasts developed a wider skull and two cartilage protrusions on either side of their heads for an incredibly advanced auditory sense. Nocturnal, this beast sleeps in a burrows during the day. The burrow is the permanent home of a Hammerhead, if it is allowed to remain. Yearly, the burrow hosts a litter of four to six pups, wshich are forced to leave the burrow after six months.

The male measures two and a half feet standing and weighs thirty pounds, while the female is slightly smaller at two feet and twenty pounds. Her brownish coat and longer tail can identify the female, while the male is gray with a fatter tail.When not caring for the young, both Hammerheads will search for food, returning to the burrow to share with its mate. Their preferred diet is fish, but they will happily dine on rats or pigeons. They are incredibly swift and agile hunters and are able to travel up to fifteen miles on a single night·s forage. However, if forced from its burrow during the day, the Hammerhead appears drunk or lost and is extremely dangerous. Preferring swampy surroundings, the Hammerheads have adapted to abandoned lots, landfills and dumps. Since 1948, the greatest concentration of Hammerheads can be found in the salt marshes of the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island.

Gus is a rare example of a Hammerhead. He was domesticated and lived as the pet of a farmer on Staten Island.

In 1955, Richard Bordin, a Salt hay farmer, found an injured Hammerhead while harvesting the saltmarsh cordgrass, a tough native marshland grass. He rescued the young Hammerhead, but Gus never fully regained the ability to survive in the wild. Together with his family they lived for twenty-eight years, until Gus died of natural causes. Bordin had Gus stuffed and mounted to preserve his memory. When Bordin died in 1989, his son donated the body of Gus to the Fresh Kills Ecological Museum, where it is on display today next to a cross section of a typical Hammerhead burrow and other inhabitants of the Fresh Kills Marshland.

Gus Flies to Newark New Jersey, to be on display at Aljira Contemorary Arts Center- Click Here


To find out more information about subjects related to Gus' life please follow the links below:

Salt Hay Farming

Nocturnal Living

The Trust for Public Land; Staten Island

Gustavo Waizbrot-
The First Gus

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