People Spotting Tasmanian Tiger, 80 Years After Presumed Extinction

By Paula Liu
Paula Liu
Paula Liu
October 22, 2019 Updated: October 22, 2019

People have recently reported seeing the Tasmanian Tiger, presumably extinct for over 80 years, in Australia, according to multiple reports.

Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment have recently released a document which recorded all the possible sightings of the thylacine, known scientifically as Thylacinus cynocephalus, according to ABC News. A total of eight sightings have been reported from September 2016 to August 2019, according to the document.

On Aug. 15, an owner of land located in the Midlands reported he believes he saw a Tasmanian Tiger as far back as seven years ago, according to the document.

On July 29, someone had reportedly spotted a footprint on a walk up to Sleeping Beauty (on the mountains riverside) during a walk, according to the document. Although the person did not take a picture of the footprint, he did look up the footprint believes what he saw belonged to that of the Tasmanian Tiger.

On Nov. 26, 2018, someone reported two days prior she believes she saw a Tasmanian Tiger and two cubs near Hartz Mountain, according to the document.

The next reported spotting of the Tasmanian was recorded on Feb. 25, 2018. where two people were visiting Tasmania from Western Australia. On Jan. 21, 2018, they were traveling in their rental car when they crossed Corinna.

“An animal walked out slowly onto the road. [One of the two people] was driving and stopped the vehicle. The animal walked from the right-hand side…looked at the vehicle a couple of times, and then walked back in the same ‘run’ it had come out of,” the document read.

According to the document, the animal was seen clearly for 12-15 seconds, whereby it was observed that the animal had a stiff tail with the thickest part located at the base of the tail. There were stripes on the animal’s back, and it was around the size of a large Kelpie, which is described to be bigger than a fox but smaller than a German shepherd.

The next reported spotting of the Tasmania Tiger was reported on Feb. 18, 2018, around 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m, and the encounter lasted only seconds. The person was on a trip to Tasmania along with six other people when the group split into a few smaller groups. The person reportedly saw the animal after being split up, and according to the person reporting, it seemed to be that of a “large cat-like creature.”

“I noticed the creature had markings on the body, these markings were black stripes on the backside of the body, the fur on the creature was dark brown,” according to the document. “Its body was a darkish brown color – other pictures I’ve seen of a Tassie Tigers often show them as a sort of light caramel color, this was not like that so much. It had several black stripes starting high at the rear hips and slanting towards its midsection.”

A Tasmanian tiger (Thylacine), which was declared extinct in 1936, is displayed at the Australian Museum in Sydney, on May 25, 2002. (Torsten Blackwood/AFP via Getty Images)

The person further described the animal, citing that the animal was “slightly higher at the rear legs than the front. It had a long body, this is one aspect that made it look unlike any other animal I have seen before, like as long as a Labrador but lower and thinner, so it looked stretched in a sense. I describe its height as something between a household cat and a Labrador dog. It had a thin tail pointing backward.”

On April 23, 2017, some people spotted a Tasmanian Tiger outside Launceston around 7:30 p.m., according to a documented report on April 24, 2017. A few people were driving along the main highway into Launceston in the evening when they spotted the animal. The reported read that it was a “strongly striped pattern was observed by both of them and they estimate it was a distance of 20-30 m from the car.”

On Dec. 27, 2016, it was reported that some people saw what they believed to be a Tasmanian Tiger around the Murchison Highway, which was documented on Jan. 3, 2018. It was around 7 p.m. when what seemed to be an animal that “ran across the road in front of the vehicle. The animal was estimated to be 492 feet in front of the vehicle, crossing the road in a ‘half trot, half run.'”

According to the document, the animal’s tail “stood out as being at least a foot or two-foot-long and straight out from the body, which was also about two feet long.”

The document read that the color wasn’t clear, but one of the people who saw it believed it might have been “sandy” in color.

On Sept. 2, 2016, a Tasmanian Tiger was believed to have been spotted near Union Bridge Road, Kenzies Hill, South of Sheffield, according to the document. It was around 6:15 a.m. and the encounter lasted around four to five seconds long.

The creature looked like a large cat in size—about 14″ to 18″ high and about 24″ to 30″ long. The distinguishing features that stood out were the dark bands on its back running from the spine down across to its underbelly. These bands seemed wide so there were about 5 of them. The rest of the fur appeared brown—middle brown, not quite as light as a tan color,” the document read. It was also documented that the animal had a snout like a fox’s, and it ran like a dog, cat, or fox. It was documented that the tail of the animal was not bushy, and the person believed that it was not a dog, a cat, or a fox.

According to ABC News, the Tasmanian Tiger is believed to be the largest carnivorous marsupial in modern times and was often spotted in Australia. The last known Tasmanian Tiger was recorded to have been captured and kept in the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania, and after it died, it was presumed extinct.

Paula Liu
Paula Liu