Tassie Tiger or fox? Debate heats up over image of mystery animal

A grainy image of an unidentified animal with a long, pointed tail has sparked debate over whether the Tasmanian Tiger is back from extinction.

Thylacine or fox? Debate heats up over image of possible sub-species

Thylacine or fox? Debate heats up over image of possible sub-species

The photo, captured on a trail camera outside of Perth, shows the animal hidden in long grass with only its head and tail visible.

The creature’s pointed ears and thin tail had led some viewers to believe it could be a thylacine, commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, or a sub-species of the extinct animal.

The animal was spotted in a field outside of Perth. Photo: Facebook

A close-up shows the animal's distinctive long tail. Photo: Facebook

Cameras were set up on the property after a woman’s dog was attacked and killed by a mystery animal.

But not everyone is convinced that the creature is a Tasmanian Tiger.

“Looks like a jumping roo as it hits the ground and just before it bounces up again,” one woman wrote.

Another image from the property shows a fox entering its den, leading some to believe the mystery creature could be a fox with mange. Photo: Facebook

“I really want it to be a thyla but all I see is a fox. Sadly it just doesn’t tick enough boxes,” another man added.

Another photo posted to the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia (TAGA) Facebook page showed a fox den on the same property, causing speculation that the mystery animal is a fox with mange.

One man had a different idea, suggesting the animal was a Thylacine hybrid.

Neil Waters, founder of TAGA, said it was a valid suggestion.

The creature was spotted in this field in the outskirts of Perth. Photo: Facebook

“Is there a sub-species remnant population that has always been on the mainland and escaped scrutiny?” Mr Waters told the Daily Telegraph.

“We are saying that there quite possibly is, due to the plethora of sightings in many key areas of the mainland and similarities of what people are reporting.”

Other viewers thought the long tail was simply a log or a stick in the background of the shot, but Mr Waters posted several more images of the field to dispel that theory.

Today's top news stories- January 24

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