On This Day …

Monday, 7th September, 1936

A sad day, really. One of our Aussie icons became officially extinct, less than two months after it was finally declared ‘protected’ — the stuff only of legends and stories now. The last Thylacine — otherwise known as the Tasmanian Tiger — died in the Hobart Zoo, sadly because of neglect.

It is a shameful part of our history that we so thoughtlessly disregarded these creatures. Thought to be threatening livestock, many farmers shot them. Hunters tracked them down for their prize trophies. Some were kept in zoos, but obviously not well enough to continue the species. The Tassie Tiger, or Tasmanian Wolf as it was sometimes known, slowly disappeared from the landscape of Tasmania, now to exist only in unconfirmed ‘sightings.’

In truth the Thylacine was neither a tiger or a wolf. It resembled a wolf and wore a tiger’s stripes, but it was a marsupial, carrying its young in a pouch. Through studies it has been found to be a feeble-jawed creature, so was unlikely to be a danger to livestock or people, probably only feeding on bandicoots and possums and the like.

What a shame we will never know much more about this unique creature, unless of course, one of these ‘sightings’ proves to be true one day. Have you ever seen something that couldn’t possibly be what you thought it was? A UFO, a ghost, a bunyip, a Tassie Tiger?

 

Published in: on 7th September, 2012 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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