Image Credit: Kathryn Medlock

School teacher allegedly films extinct Tasmanian Tiger

  • BY Angela Heathcote |
  • July 10, 2017

On 7 September 1936, the last known thylacine died in Hobart Zoo.

SCHOOL TEACHER, Paul Day was out filming a sunrise on a farm near Moonta in South Australia when what looked like a Thylacine, also known as a Tasmanian tiger, ran by. 

The last known Tasmanian tiger died back in 1936, so the sighting brings new hope that there may be a chance for the extinct creature. 

Initially, Paul told News Corp that he thought the animal was a fox or a dog. But after looking over the footage he felt assured that this was a Tasmanian tiger. 

The animal seemed to have been bopping on it's hind legs— an attribute of Tasmanian tigers, recorded by scientists. 

“It wasn’t until I saw footage of another thylacine sighting on Facebook that it dawned on me. I thought to myself, ‘If that’s not a thylacine I’ll eat my hat,'" Paul said. 

There have been many rumoured sightings since the animals extinction, which earlier this year led to a field survey in far North Queensland, led by researchers from James Cook University.

Sandra Abell, a Research Fellow of Zoology and Ecology, who lead the field survey said that the sighting was certainly intriguing. 

"The animal does have an unusual gait and the body shape is quite interesting. Unfortunately the footage is from quite a distance so the detail needed to make an accurate identification is absent," Sandra told Australian Geographic.

"The evidence we require is a clear  and close up colour photo or preferably video coupled with some form of DNA evidence from hair or scat. We should all remain sceptical, but with an open mind, until there is some real evidence at hand."

Co-author of the field survey, Bill Laurance, discounts the view that the animal could resemble a fox, however is equally skeptical that this is the extinct animal.

"It’s definitely not a fox, in my view. The tail is way too thin, for one thing. If it’s a fox it’s got the worst case of mange I’ve ever seen, among other things. The animal’s gait is definitely odd to my eye."

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