Potential Sighting of Tasmanian Tiger Prompts Research

Two Tasmanian tigers

After several reports of Tasmanian tiger sightings, the researchers decided to see if the animal is indeed extinct

Experts thought that the Tasmanian tiger went extinct in 1936, when the last specimen alive died in a zoo in Tasmania. However, they have regained hope that the tiger might still be alive, as some reported sightings of the animal.

The Tasmanian tiger, extinct for 80 years

The Tasmanian tiger, also known as thylacine, was a small animal which resembled a dog. It had stripes like tigers and a long nose. They represented the largest marsupial but, unfortunately, people were free to hunt them on their native island. The massive hunting and the competition between specimens drove them to extinction.

Over the last 60 years, many people claimed to have spotted the tiger. However, there were some recent reports which seemed quite plausible. This drove researchers to investigate more on the case. A team from James Cook University decided to conduct a serious research and see if the marsupials were indeed gone.

Sightings of peculiar mammals in Queensland

Some regarded this as a wacky idea, since the last authentic sighting of a Tasmanian tiger occurred more than 80 years ago. However, the recent spotting of the thylacine seems to be authentic, too. The lucky people gave quite an accurate description of the animal. Bill Laurance, one of the researchers, agreed that the description was rich in details.

“He was quite detailed in terms of his descriptions of eye shines and aspects of the body pattern and movements.”

The two people saw the animals in the northern part of Queensland. They saw animals which resembled dogs and had stripes on their sides. They used a spotlight to look at them, as the sighting occurred during nighttime.

Usually, researchers are skeptical about such reports. This time, however, the description of the eyes, shape, and behavior of the animal did not match any other mammal living in the area. There were two sighting events, and both of them occurred in the Cape York peninsula, but in different areas. Researchers did not reveal any other details on this.

The research plans include the installation of 50 cameras in the area to capture images of the wildlife. Even if the existence of the Tasmanian tiger is not proven, they might discover new information on other rare or endangered animals roaming the region.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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