Tasmanian tiger allegedly spotted 80 years after being declared extinct
A large marsupial known as a Tasmanian tiger has allegedly been spotted several times in Australia over the last three years — more than 80 years after the striped animal was declared extinct.
Details of the sightings, which span from 2016 to this year in the island state of Tasmania, are documented in a report by the country’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
The last known thylacine, named Benjamin, died in September 1936 at a zoo in Tasmania, according to National Museum Australia. Once considered a top predator, its population quickly dwindled thanks to excessive hunting and disease.
Sightings of the mammal, which looks like a cross between a dog, cat and fox, were reported as recently as August — when a man recalled seeing a “Tassie Tiger on his land 7 years ago,” the government report noted.
A month before that, a hiker reported seeing a footprint on Sleeping Beauty mountain that he later Googled “when he got home and believes it was a Tasmanian Tiger footprint.”
And last year, two people said they were “100% certain that the animal they saw was a thylacine” after the one allegedly walked in front of their car.
A sightseer gave a detailed description after witnessing what he or she believed was a “large cat like creature” in February 2018.
“It didn’t really make sense to me as being a typical cat, location wise, behavior and the way it walked, it was obvious it wasn’t a fox although it was the size of a big fox, not fluffy and hairy like a fox,” the person recalled. “I noticed the creature had markings on the body, these markings were black stripes on the back side of the body, the fur on the creature was dark brown.”
Despite the reported sightings, a DPIPWE spokesperson said the agency still considers the animal extinct, according to Australia’s ABC.net.
“There have been no confirmed sightings of the thylacine in Tasmania for more than 50 years. DPIPWE occasionally receives reports of thylacine sightings and while these are recorded, there is no evidence to confirm the thylacine still exists,” it said. “The department will continue to record information on reported sightings.”
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