In 1936, the last known thylacine died, and the strange species — better known as the “Tasmanian Tiger” — was declared extinct, but new footage may show that the animals are actually still living in southern Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Tiger, sometimes called the Tasmanian Wolf, has the appearance of a dog, but with stripes down its back.
It’s also a marsupial — “the largest marsupial carnivore to exist in modern times,” in fact.
Benjamin, the last known thylacine, died at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart on September 7th, 1936.
But now a team of Tasmanian thylacine trackers has released footage of what may be a population of the animals still living on the island of Tasmania.
The Mercury reports:
The series of images and videos, taken at a secret location in southern Tasmania, are being touted as the most reliable evidence that Tasmanian tigers still exist.
An expert in Tasmanian wildlife has assessed the videos, and rated the possibility that thylacines still exist as “perhaps a one in three chance”.
The thylacine enthusiasts who released the grainy and fleeting footage say it shows a thylacine walking slowly at a distance, a thylacine nose at the camera lens, and a thylacine with a cub.
Though the precise location is being kept under wraps, the images were taken in bushland about 50km from the former forestry outpost Maydena.
After Greg and his father George “Joe” Booth claimed to have seen a living thylacine in 2015, they teamed up to find proof that the animal still existed in the wild.
Setting trail cameras, they now claim to have finally found it. They gave recent footage to a thylacine expert, Adrian “Richo” Richardson, for verification.
Richardson claims the footage does indeed show a thylacine. “I don’t think it’s a thylacine … I know it’s a thylacine,’ Mr. Richardson said.
Since then, they’ve teamed up to form the Booth Richardson Tiger Team (BRT Team).
The footage was taken in November of last year, and they decided to release it to the public.
The Mercury continues:
Wildlife biologist Nick Mooney, who has spent decades investigating tiger sightings, has analysed the images and visited the sight of the supposed sighting.
In a report about the recent BRT Team images, Mr Mooney writes that the collection contains one key image that has a “one in three” chance of being a thylacine.
The image shows an animal about 10-11m from the camera, which turns away from the camera and is in view for about 1.8 seconds.
“Assuming the footage is authentic, the animal is either a very large spotted-tailed quoll (they do grow to more than 7kg) or a small thylacine,” Mr Mooney writes.
Mr Mooney’s report analyses the animal’s size, movement, behaviour, colour, shape and proportions.
“I am happy to suggest that based on this limited analysis of the film, there is perhaps a one in three chance the image is of a thylacine,” he says.
If the Booth Richardson Tiger Team keeps this work up, perhaps definitive proof that Tasmanian Tigers still exists will be found.
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