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No. 43: Jan-Feb 1986

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The Return Of The Tasmanian Tiger

"In March 1982, a park ranger in northwestern Tasmania awoke in the dead of night. From force of habit, he scanned the woods, his spotlight punching through black walls of rain. And there in the beam was one of the strangest creatures he had ever seen. About the size and shape of a dog, it was covered with stripes that ran from its shoulders across its back to its thick, rigid, tail.

"The animal stood still as the startled ranger counted the stripes, then it nonchalantly gave an enormous jaw-stretching yawn. But when the ranger reached for his camera, the creature faded into the undergrowth, leaving nothing but a rank smell. It also left a trail of excitement, for the bizarre beast looked exactly like a Tasmanian tiger -- also called a thylacine or Tasmanian wolf -- an animal thought to have been extinct nearly 50 years ago."

Hundreds of people claim they have spotted the Tasmanian tiger since the last captive died in 1936, but we have no good photos or other "proofs." Mediaman Ted Turner has offered a prize of $100,000 for "verifiable evidence" that the Tasmanian tiger still lives. Consequently, the Tasmanian wilds are being combed diligently and automatic cameras, triggered by infrared beams, are being set up in likely spots.

(Bunk, Steve; "Just How Extinct Is Tasmania's Tiger?" International Wildlife, 15:37, July-August 1985. Cr. M.J. Shields)

Reference. Evidence for the survival of the Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) may be found in BMD12 in our catalog: Biological Anomalies: Mammals II. This volume is described here.

Tasmanian tiger The Tasmanian tiger, a marsupial predator.

From Science Frontiers #43, JAN-FEB 1986. � 1986-2000 William R. Corliss