The Return of the Tasmanian Tiger

By: Desmond Yu

Citizen of the Earth

The Tasmanian Tiger is a large striped carnivore which looks like a cross breed between a wolf, and a fox. It is also known as a Thylacine, thought to be extinct for over 80 years, but recent sightings of this creature might say otherwise.  The creature’s size ranged from 40-52 inches, a tail of about 20-25 inches long, a height of 24 inches, and a weight of 66 pounds. The Thylacine was supposedly extinct after the last known Thylacine died in captivity in 1936. It was later announced by the Australian government as officially extinct in 1982. Reported sightings of the extinct animal were in November in 2018, when a woman assumed she saw a Thylacine and her two cubs in the Hartz Mountains. In February, two Australian tourists were visiting Tasmania, when they saw “an animal with a stiff tail and striped back” walking on the road. The animal turned and looked at the vehicle a couple of times and was in clear view for 12-15 seconds. Both witnesses were 100% certain that the animal they saw was a Thylacine.

Another report was filed to the Australian government the same month stated that a striped cat-like creature was moving through the mist in the distance. "I am accustomed to coming across most animals working on rural farms, and I have never come across an animal anything close to what I saw in Tasmania that day," the report read. The most recent sighting was in July, reported by a man in Southern Tasmania, near the state capital of Hobart, who saw a footprint that was believed to match the Tasmanian Tiger footprint. Why were these exotic animals extinct? Well, the Tasmanian Government paid for people to kill the Thylacine for terrorizing their sheep.  Also, the last known Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in Hobart Zoo in September 1936. The Telegraph states “farmers, bounty hunters, wild dogs introduced by Europeans, destruction of habitat, disease, and the extinction of animals on which the tiger fed on all contributed to the dramatic fall.” 

Although nobody has officially confirmed sightings of the Tasmanian Tiger for more than 50 years, scientists at the Australian Museum replicated Thylacine DNA, which means the Tasmanian Tiger could be potentially be brought back with cloning technology.