Tasmanian Tiger: Dead or Alive?

If you haven’t already guessed, the Tasmanian Tiger – or the Thylacine, as it is properly called – is an Australian animal, mainly from the island state of Tasmania.

Thylacinus.jpg

Or at least, it was; it’s been considered extinct since 1936, when the last known Tiger died in captivity.  (Note that despite its common name – inspired by its stripes – it was actually a marsupial, and more canine than feline.)

But while the official position is that the Thylacine that died in 1936 was the last one, there have been many reported sightings since then – up to the present day – and that includes video footage.

It’s been more than 80 years since the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, is believed to have gone extinct, but an enduring belief remains that the large carnivore still roams the state.

Now, a newly released government document has revealed sightings have been reported as recently as two months ago.

Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) revealed there have been eight reported sightings of the Tasmanian tiger in the past three years.

The document includes detailed accounts of alleged close encounters with the mysterious predator across the northern and western regions of the state.

‘Cat-like creature’

Last February, two visitors claimed an animal with a “stiff tail and striped back” wandered in front of their car at Corinna in the island’s west.

The animal “turned and looked at the vehicle a couple of times” and “was in clear view for 12-15 seconds.”

The report says both people in the car were “100% sure it was a thylacine”.

Footage taken by David Fleay in 1933 of the last thylacine
Authorities say there is no evidence to confirm the thylacine still exists. Credit: AAP

Another report, filed by a farmer in a cycling group, claims to have seen a “large cat-like creature” from a distance on the Lyell Highway.

He describes the animal as “as long as a Labrador with a thin tail pointing backwards”.

Most recently, in July, a man just south of Hobart reported seeing a footprint that seemed to match that of the Tasmanian tiger.

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/stripes-tail-in-tassie-tiger-sightings-c-508164

The government, of course, takes the official stance that despite the sightings, the creature remains extinct.

In the same month, a group of cyclists riding the Lyell Highway in Central Tasmania claimed to have their own encounter.

“It was a misty, overcast kind of day … I saw in front of me from a distance, what I categorised as a large cat-like creature,” the cyclist recounted.

“The whole picture didn’t really make sense to me, as far as identifying the animal as any animal I know.

“As I live in a rural area of Mudgee, I am accustomed to coming across most animals working on rural farms, etc … but I have never come across an animal anything close to what I saw in Tasmania that day.

“This sighting bothered me for a few minutes and I pushed it aside.

“It had a long body, this is one aspect that made it look unlike any other animal I have seen before.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-16/thylacine-sightings-in-tasmania-revealed-in-rti/11602970

Mentioned in the following link is the possibility that the Thylacine may actually be alive on the Mainland – specifically northern Queensland.

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/the-bold-effort-to-prove-the-tasmanian-tiger-is-still-out-there/news-story/c7da39c84dc700c2bbb94654a50f5862

A sample timeline of a small number of sightings:

In 1938, a Thylacine was said to be shot at Mawbanna. In 1957, a specimen was reportedly spotted from a helicopter. In 1961, a creature killed at Sandy Cape in Queensland was identified tentatively as a Tasmanian tiger.

Thylacine hunter Michael Moss maintains that the Tas tiger may still roam the mainland, and encourages people to keep looking.

Latest Tasmanian tiger sightings

In 2005, two German tourists to Tasmania, Klaus Emmerichs and Birgit Jansen claimed to have taken pictures of a live Tasmanian tiger.

In November 2017, three investigators including Adrian Richardson, who has been hunting for the Thylacine for 26 years, captured video of what they claim is a Tasmanian tiger in Hobart. “I don’t think it’s a Thylacine … I know it’s a Thylacine,” Richardson said.

In June 2018, a Sydney man shared home surveillance footage of a creature he believed to be a Tasmanian tiger.

A Victoria farmer, Peter Groves, made the news after allegedly spotting a Thylacine while walking near Clifton Springs on January 4, 2019. Groves managed to pull out his mobile phone and snap a picture of the creature which he then uploaded to social media. “It could just be a mangy fox, but it seems to be bigger than a fox and it’s not shy,” Groves explained. “There is a lot of bush and a lot of cover and I think it’s living quite comfortably there.” He described the specimen as “funny looking … with a big long tail and stumpy ears”.

Regardless of whether the Thylacine is extinct or alive, the debate will continue to rage until definitive proof emerges.

https://www.bhg.com.au/tasmanian-tiger-sightings

There’s reason to believe the animal exists in New Guinea:

 

A possible sighting in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.

 

A Today Tonight report on sightings in South Australia:

 

Some sightings from the Australian Capital Territory:

ACT.1980.xx.xx

David R. Reid’s account of his encounter, posted on his own website:

“In 1980 whilst hiking in the coolomon plain area, I entered a narrow section of open plain near the Coinbill turnoff on the Long Plain Road. The time was approximately 6.15 – 6.30 am and the sun had been up for about 30 minutes. My attention was caught by the movement of something about 60 meters away that at first glance I thought was a medium sized feral dog standing head down in short grass roughly 15 meters from the eucalypt scrub that borders the paddock like plains of the area.

The animal was a tan-caramel color with pronounced dark stripes from shoulders to rump and had a ridged “kangaroo like” tail. Quite suddenly the animal reared on it’s hind legs, nose to the air, turned to the opposite direction than that it had been standing and raced into the vegetation at speed. The animal moved in a way that I had never encountered before. It appeared to bound away using its front and hind legs in unison reminding me of a wild boar in full flight but with much smoother and longer strides.

It was obvious that the animal had seen/smelt/heard or sensed my presence and simply vanished. The encounter lasted in full no more than 15 seconds. I walked to the spot were the animal had been and found a small dead wombat “gutted”, a very strange sight for the plains. This was apparently the meal of the animal I had just seen.

I really did not think about it too much until about 10 years later when I saw pictures of the strange animal I encountered that day. There was no question about it, the animal I had seen was a Thylacine. (Thylacinus cynocephalus)”

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20180707211712/https://www.angelfire.com/oz/thylacine/

 

ACT.2017.10.28

“I was in the car with my mum and i was just looking outside and at that moment i saw a strange creature its head looked like a dogs head but it was standing up like a kangaroo i could tell it wasn’t a kangaroo because its feet weren’t long enough and it had a brownish color along with some dark coloration on its rear end which were most likely stripes and then a a month after i saw it some of my friends told me that they saw a Thylacine in Fyshwick which was the area i saw it in and one of them said he saw it attack a kangaroo but all of my friends described a dog like animal with stripes.”

Source: https://www.thylacineawarenessgroup.com/sighting/sighting-from-fyshwick-australian-capitol-territory-2017/

 

ACT.2017.11/12.xx

“I was in the car with my mum and i was just looking outside and at that moment i saw a strange creature its head looked like a dogs head but it was standing up like a kangaroo i could tell it wasn’t a kangaroo because its feet weren’t long enough and it had a brownish color along with some dark coloration on its rear end which were most likely stripes and then a a month after i saw it some of my friends told me that they saw a Thylacine in Fyshwick which was the area i saw it in and one of them said he saw it attack a kangaroo but all of my friends described a dog like animal with stripes.”

Source: https://www.thylacineawarenessgroup.com/sighting/sighting-from-fyshwick-australian-capitol-territory-2017/

https://recentlyextinctspecies.com/13-articles/129-australian-capital-territory-thylacine-reports

I, for one, believe the Thylacine still roams the earth – or at least Australia and New Guinea.

http://www.cepher.net/?af=59

18 thoughts on “Tasmanian Tiger: Dead or Alive?

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