'They are out there': Bizarre 'wildlife' traffic sign fools motorists

Despite the last confirmed sighting of the now-extinct thylacine being nearly 90 years ago, there is a small group of Australians adamant it lives on across the nation.

One of the more notorious hotspots for thylacine sightings aside from Tasmania is in the South West region of Western Australia – which has led to the emergence of the elusive Nannup tiger.

And while there is no hard evidence that suggests it still actually exists, numerous ‘sightings’ have left some locals elevating the Nannup tiger among the most elite of folklore creatures such as the Loch Ness Monster.

Such a reputation has led to the recent erection of an unofficial traffic warning sign normally reserved for non-extinct native wildlife such as kangaroos or possums.

The warning sign about thylacines in the area. Source: Nannup Police

Taking to their Facebook page on Thursday, WA Police’s South West District shared an image of the sign taken by Nannup Police.

“CAUTION THYLACINES NEXT 50KMS,” the sign reads.

“Nannup Police are on the look out for the infamous Nannup Tiger and for the person responsible for the sign, well played sir,” the local police force said in an earlier tweet.

Using the hashtag #localcomedy, it was clear police suspected pranksters were responsible, however a handful of comments suggested the sign’s erection may have been prompted by genuine concern thylacines inhabit the area.

One man went as far to declare he had seen four in the region.

“It’s there for a reason because they are out there,” he said in response to those doubting their existence.

An artist's illustations of a thylacine. Source: Getty

Others were quick to ridicule their alleged existence and join in the fun, some providing satirical facts about local thylacines.

“Thylacine are most commonly observed by French backpackers during the winter months after consuming a few of Nannup’s free range organic mushrooms,” one person wrote.

“Drop bears have eaten ‘em all,” another suggested.

One person even said they’d been “fooled” by the sign driving past.

Many called for police to keep the sign, suggesting it may help boost tourism.

Thylacines, also known as the Tasmanian tiger, were large striped, dog-like marsupials whose diet consisted of kangaroos, other marsupials, small birds and rodents, according to Australian Museum.

The Thylacine Awareness Group’s Tarnee Rutherford told the Busselton Mail there had been hundreds of Tasmanian tiger sightings across WA however she believed the Nannup tiger to be much bigger than a typical thylacine.

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