Is the Tasmanian Tiger Really Extinct?
You've no doubt heard of the Tasmanian Devil or seen an animated version the whirling dervish in looney tunes cartoons. But what about the Tasmanian Tiger? It's actually not even a tiger at all instead a marsupial known as the Thilo seen and it's thought to have gone extinct almost one hundred years ago but did it really. While many experts believed the last known thylacine died at. Australia's Hobart Zoo in nineteen thirty. Six others ardently claimed that the animals still exists because they've spotted one or more in the wild. We spoke by email with Kathryn medlock. Honorary Curator of vertebrate zoology the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. She said the international Australian and state definition of an extinct species is that there has been no reliable evidence of the species for fifty years by this definition. They are officially extinct species although designated as officially extinct. It's difficult to prove that something is not there as opposed to proving it is. There are many cases of species being rediscovered. Many years after supposed- extinction we also spoke by email with Rick Schwartz an animal ambassador for California's San Diego Zoo. He explained that quote since the Nineteen Thirties. There have been a few claims Tasmanian. Tigers have been seen for brief moments in the wild however no substantial evidence has proven they exist at this time we also spoke by email with Neil waters of the thylacine awareness group of Australia. Who started disagrees a quote? Do I think the animals extinct? No because I've seen too and been coughed slash barked at by one in South Australia. In two thousand eighteen. There have been more than seven thousand documented sightings of Silas scenes or animals that appear to be Thilo scenes but the majority of those sightings on Mainland Australia. According to the scientific formula applied to mammals though it is extinct and has been since nineteen thirty six for fifty years. The animal was considered rare and endangered. This fact inconveniently keeps the animal as a recent extinction rather than an ancient one. We should lose hope over and forget about. Let's step back a bit. What exactly is Tasmanian. Tiger? Schwartz explained that it's not a big cat at all. He said the name. Tiger most likely was given to the animal by the European settlers due to the light stripes that went from the spine down each side on the hind end of the animal. Most people agree that the Tasmanian Tiger looks like a medium sized short haired dog with subtle stripes on hindquarters and the base of its tail. Tail was thick and muscular at the base. More like a kangaroo's tail than a dog's tail colorations were described as light brown and Yellow Brown with Darker Brown stripes. These animals weighed about forty five to seventy pounds. That's twenty to thirty kilos with a body length of forty to fifty inches or one hundred to one hundred and twenty five centimeters with that tail. Adding another twenty to twenty five inches or fifty to sixty centimeters most stood about two feet tall or two thirds of a meter at the shoulder. Schwartz said in our modern times we usually think of marsupials and Kangaroos however the Tasmanian Tiger had a number of unique characteristics being dog like medium sized carnivore. That's also Marsupial it. Size and features were more similar to that of a small wolf or large Fox. Combine that with the striped pattern on the hind end and thick muscular tail. Similar toy kangaroo. You've got a pretty unique animal and water said when you had a close look at the prince we find. You will see time and time again. The broad S- play of the toes and the Claude drag impressions from the massive fixed clause on the animals four feet. The reason they're split wide and not like a dog is because they don't have webbing between their toes their front feet also still acts similar to hands as they can both hop like a kangaroo or run on all fours as a result many of the prince appear that the front feet are literally grabbing the ground as they dig it on curves or high speed when pursuing prey when Europeans first colonized Australia. The Tasmanian Tiger was rarely seen the animals started to become increasingly blamed for tax on cheap however so private companies and the Tasmanian government attempted to curb population by establishing bounties exchange for dead violence scenes adding to their eventual extinction was the sad fact that Australia's colonisation eroded the thylacines habitat by the nineteen twenty s sightings of the Tasmanian Tiger in the wild became extremely rare and in nineteen thirty. A farmer shot and killed the second. To last known wild Tasmanian Tiger the final by Lesean was captured in the Florentine Valley in Nineteen thirty three and transferred to the Hobart Zoo on September seventh. Nineteen thirty six. The animal known as Benjamin died in captivity black and white footage recorded in nineteen thirty three would become historically significant as images of the final scene in nineteen thirty seven the Tasmanian animals and birds protection board a later to become the national park. Service launched a series to determine where thylacines still might be found. Medlock said unfortunately living animal was not discovered. The final search in the series was into the chain river area in Western. Tasmania on the search. Sometimes seen footprints were discovered and creek bed. The original plaster casts of these prints are lodged in the Tasmanian Museum. The Tasmanian Museum doesn't receive citing reports. And we don't have the expertise to assess them. This is done by the Department of Primary Industries Water and environment they continue to record reported sightings and take them seriously often however sightings films and photographs are released to the media through the people who are reporting them rather than a government body over the years. There have been several instances photographs and films purported to be thylacines in the wild but none have been verified as genuine evidence of an animal waters however contends that there have been dozens of credible sightings of Thilo scenes. He said actually hundreds of them too many to name one in particular was a bus load of tourists in Western Australia. Back in the nineteen eighties. Who All saw the animal at close range in broad daylight whilst on a wildflower tour the fact that we find headless Kangaroos. All over. His failure is a key piece of physical evidence that these animals still persist. But nobody to know about it. Because it's always blamed on either hunters or Satanists by. Ill informed people who don't understand how these animals feed waters has been working tirelessly to raise public awareness of this animals continued existence for the past five years meeting dozens of witnesses and collecting thousands of statements regarding sightings of this animal in. Tasmania and across mainland Australia. His work appears in the two thousand seventeen documentary living the thylacine dream which follows waters travels throughout mainland Australia. Collect evidence of predation as well as stories of sightings from witnesses who are adamant seen the thile seen both recently and historically