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Creatures, Myths & Legends

Expedition in 'no doubt' over live thylacines

By T.K. Randall
November 13, 2013 · Comment icon 51 comments



A thylacine at Hobart Zoo photographed in 1928. Image Credit: Benjamin A. Sheppard
A team from the Centre for Fortean Zoology is in Tasmania hunting for signs of the 'extinct' thylacine.
Investigators including Dr Chris Clarke and Richard Freeman are now one week in to their two-week expedition in search of evidence that the thylacine, a species that was declared officially extinct in the 1980s, still survives in the wilds of Tasmania.

The team has spoken to several "highly credible" witnesses and even claims to have discovered some feces that could be from one of the elusive creatures. Samples of the droppings have been preserved in alcohol and sent away to be DNA tested to see what animal they belong to.
"If we get the DNA from them, thatíll be interesting," said Freeman. "They are far too big for a Tasmanian devil and it canít be a dog. Why would a dog be so far out there? Itís a very remote area."

Despite nothing conclusive so far, the expedition team is adamant that there is "no doubt" thylacines have survived and that the evidence is just waiting to be found.

"The area is so damn remote, there are so many prey species and we have so many reliable witnesses who know the bush that Iíd say there is a reasonable population of them left," said Freeman. "Iíd say there are more of them around in the world than Javan rhinos."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (51)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #42 Posted by ZaraKitty 10 years ago
Tasmania remains pretty untouched to my memory, forest wise. It's pretty likely there's some animals hiding deep in the forests.
Comment icon #43 Posted by DKO 10 years ago
Its a remote possibility, but even so, in NZ we have plenty of Kiwi species and though they are endangered and our national icon, the only place most people including New Zealanders ever get to see one is in a zoo as they are shy elusive and nocturnal creatures like has been described of the Tasmanian tiger. I think people from many countries could say that. I've never seen a wild koala, wombat, wallaby, platypus, echidna, dingo, tassie devil or pretty much any Australian icon. Kangaroos would have to be the only native animal I would see and even that's rare nowadays. Been months since I've s... [More]
Comment icon #44 Posted by Sundew 10 years ago
I think people from many countries could say that. I've never seen a wild koala, wombat, wallaby, platypus, echidna, dingo, tassie devil or pretty much any Australian icon. Kangaroos would have to be the only native animal I would see and even that's rare nowadays. Been months since I've seen a kangaroo, been years since I've seen one up close. Wildlife, especially species that are hunted, do tend to stay away from people. I live in North America and have only ever seen two wild black bear, and they were terrified of the encounter, so much so I "bearly" got a good look, I basically saw the rum... [More]
Comment icon #45 Posted by psyche101 9 years ago
that is the case. The case is, also, that the government has a habit of ignoring it - given that they've just allowed some excavation of the GREAT BARRIER REEF so coal ships can move through it, that's all you need to know about the parade of shitwits that are in power ATM. Worth pointing out that with all our bleating about protecting whales, we still keep Dolphins in captivity, when New Zealand outlawed it. WSPAís New Zealand Country Manager, Bridget Vercoe, says this is fantastic news for dolphins both here and overseas. Many countries around the world already have legislation prohibiting t... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by psyche101 9 years ago
We should capture and breed them for racing. It's obvious that one of those things would give a greyhound a run for its money, what with the racing stripes and all. Harte And Kangaroo legs.
Comment icon #47 Posted by psyche101 9 years ago
But assuming it did survive in the wild past the 1930s, there is another potential threat that may have finished it off: Tasmanian Devils have been plagued with a contagious cancer that spreads from animal to animal during fights or scavenging on carcasses and it is decimating the population, causing huge facial tumors. If Thylacine also scavenge the same carcasses, then it possible the disease might have spread to them as well, assuming it can infect multiple species. I am of the belief that it defiantly lived past the extinction date, but for how long would be anyone guess. David Fleay, Wild... [More]
Comment icon #48 Posted by oldrover 9 years ago
The poop tests are a long shot... Can someone update if the results are released? Devil scat, it was confirmed.
Comment icon #49 Posted by PersonFromPorlock 9 years ago
There are also reports of a remnant population in Papua-New Guinea, which seems like a real possibility.
Comment icon #50 Posted by oldrover 9 years ago
Not to me frankly.
Comment icon #51 Posted by Warrior1256 9 years ago
i hope they are not really extinct. Same here, it would be nice if some were discovered.


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