Video shows ‘tiger’

September 14, 2017

An undated handout photo of young thylacines held in captivity. (AAP Image/Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery)

A video purportedly showing a Tasmanian tiger has been released by a trio claiming the long-thought extinct marsupial still lives on the Apple Isle.

The grainy footage and images were taken in November by a team of tiger trackers in a remote part of the state’s south.

They say it shows a thylacine with a distinct stiff tail walking through bushland at dusk.

The video was made public on Wednesday in Hobart, a day before the 81st anniversary of the death of the last captive tiger in Hobart’s now-defunct Beauman’s Zoo.

A member of the team, Adrian Richardson, who has been searching for a tiger for 26 years, trumpeted the video as conclusive proof.

‘‘I don’t think it’s a thylacine ... I know it’s a thylacine,’’ he said.

Wildlife experts, however, have thrown cold water on the claims.

Biologist Nick Mooney said he looked at the footage with several other experts and came to the conclusion it was more likely a spotted-tail quoll.

‘‘Looking at the anatomy and behaviour, it’s probably not (a thylacine),’’ he said.

‘‘It’s very hard to work out the scale.’’

Greg Booth and his dad Joe set up 14 cameras in an area 50km outside Maydena after he caught a glimpse of what they said was a tiger on Good Friday two years ago.

‘‘It had a really big head, long snout and a scar,’’ he said.

‘‘And the tail was dead straight.’’

Joe, 80, also claims to have seen a thylacine in the 1950s in the Derwent Valley.

The thylacine was declared presumed extinct in 1986, 50 years after the last confirmed sighting.

There have been numerous unconfirmed sightings in the decades since, including one as recently as November in South Australia.

‘‘It fascinates people and it does give you something to discuss,’’ Mr Mooney said.

Hunting, the introduction of dogs and the loss of habitat have been blamed for the dog-like animal’s extinction.

More in Rural
Login Sign Up

Dummy text