Decades of speculation and doubt surrounding the Tasmanian tiger’s extinction may have been justified, scientists have revealed.
At least eight sightings of the large striped mammal have been reported to Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment over the past three years.
The last known Tasmanian tiger, otherwise known as a thylacine, died in 1936 while in captivity at Hobart Zoo.
The animal, which boasts a sandy yellowish-brown coat with dark stripes on its back and 46 powerful teeth, was officially declared extinct in 1986, according to the Australian Museum.
But, according to a handful of locals and visitors who claim they have spotted the tiger during jaunts across Tasmania, the semi-nocturnal animal is very much alive.
Striped sightings across the state
A couple visiting from Western Australia in January last year say they are 100 per cent certain they had a close call with a Tasmanian tiger who walked out in front of their car near Corinna.
They claim the tiger walked from one side of the road to the other, periodically stopping to look at them.
The pair say the animal, which they describe as having a stiff and firm tail with stripes down its back, was in clear view for 12 to 15 seconds, according to documents from Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
Just a month later, a witness on a group bike ride said he saw a “large cat-like creature”.
“The whole picture didn't really make sense to me as far as identifying the animal as any animal I know,” the witness said, adding that they live in a rural area.
“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.”
In July 2018, a woman claimed she saw a tiger and two cubs at Hartz Mountain.
This year, a man saw what he’s convinced is a Tasmanian tiger footprint during a walk up Sleeping Beauty Mountain.
In August, another man reported seeing a tiger on his farm seven years ago.
Two sightings reported in 2017 and one in 2016 all involved tiger’s reportedly coming within just metres of passing cars.
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