“TRIPOD” The Prison Cat

“TRIPOD” The Prison Cat

One of the last occupants of No.2 Division was “Tripod” – a much loved three-legged black tomcat.



“TRIPOD” the prison cat: photograph
taken 5th March 1988.
Source: Courier-Mail Library


His front left leg was badly broken during riots when it was caught in a cell door. Prisoners raised the money to have it amputated.

Prisoners jokingly referred to him as a “lifer” after 16 years of being in Boggo Road Gaol…

The Courier-Mail newspaper ran a story in March 1988 about Tripod:

Most people consider black cats to be unlucky. But one group of people who have more reason than most to claim they are always down on their luck believe their black cat, Tripod is their good luck charm. Tripod is the mascot of the inmates of the notorious Division II wing of Brisbane Jail. Tripod, so named because he has only three legs, is jokingly referred to as a “lifer” around the jail as he has been there for 16 years.

He lost his left front leg when a cell door was slammed on it during a prison riot about 15 years ago. As a “registered” member of the prison establishment, Tripod gets his own ration of cat food each day before settling down in the main yard of Division II to keep an eye on things. When caught up with by photographer Graham Hutton, Tripod showed his displeasure at having his afternoon siesta disturbed by completely ignoring a visiting media group in the background.


There has even been unconfirmed reports from some former prisoners that Tripod got a little angry towards the end of his life, and as a result, some prisoners put out a contract on Tripod’s life!

When his ‘9th life’ ran out Tripod was buried in a garden bed in No.2 Division where he remains to this day.


We have a special offer for these April, 2019 school holidays – all kids get a free Tripod the Boggo Road Cat poster with every family booking…


(to get the poster, please make sure to select “Newsletter” when checking out under the “How did you find out about our tours?” question)