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Nature & Environment

Previously unseen thylacine footage unearthed

By T.K. Randall
March 13, 2020 · Comment icon 12 comments

A previously unseen glimpse of a live thylacine. Image Credit: YouTube / mike williams
Researchers have discovered extremely rare black-and-white footage of the extinct Tasmanian tiger.
One of the best known recent examples of a species wiped out by human hunting practices, the thylacine was a distinctive carnivorous marsupial native to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea.

The last known specimen held in captivity died at Hobart Zoo back in 1936 and while there have been fleeting sightings of the species since then, most experts agree that it has gone extinct.

Now though, over 80 years later, previously unseen footage has been unearthed showing the Hobart Zoo thylacine (which was known as Benjamin) pacing about its enclosure.
The grainy monochrome video, which was part of a 69-second clip, was thought to have been filmed sometime between 1933 and 1936.

It was found thanks to the efforts of researchers at the Tasmanian Tiger Archives Facebook group with the help of staff at the State Library and Archive Service.

The 7-second clip, which can be viewed below, offers one more fleeting glimpse into the final days of this fascinating species.

Source: YouTube | Comments (12)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
Not a lot of carnivorous marsupial left and it was the only big one too. It remember us of all the other species we are losing right now with habitat destruction and over-hunting.
Comment icon #4 Posted by jbondo 4 years ago
This is not new footage. However, there are some very credible witnesses who claim to have seen the animal over the past 5 years.
Comment icon #5 Posted by oldrover 4 years ago
Yeah, but the credit should go to my two friends Mikw Williams and Branden Holmes, who noticed an anomalous looking entry and tracked it down. I just sat here looking pretty. Thank you fir sharing thus Carnoferox, and I hope you are well. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by oldrover 4 years ago
A bit of context. We can't prove who it is yet because there's nothing difinitive to give it a date  but I'm 100% certain it's the last captive. That and his size dates it to between about 1933 (ish) and early 36. Can't say anymore than that yet but hopefully we'll be able to put the shots of him in chronological order soon. So far we date inages from three disinct periods of his like in captivity. A baby photo from April 1931, healthy adult from December 1933, elderly fella from May 1936. I think this film slots in between the latter two. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Carnoferox 4 years ago
You have a photo of the last individual from 1931? That's pretty exciting; it would definitely rule out the claim that it was captured in 1933.
Comment icon #8 Posted by oldrover 4 years ago
The 1933 idea has finally been abandoned now. Sadly to be replaced by an even more unlikely scenario. See Sleightholme et al 2019. Sorry I was a bit careless in my previous post though, I say it's him in 1931 and I think that it's all but certain it is, there's good primary evidence that supports it has to be him, yet definitive proof is lacking.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Carnoferox 4 years ago
Is this the paper you're referring to? Unfortunately I can't access it to see what they propose.
Comment icon #10 Posted by oldrover 4 years ago
Yes that's the one. I just tried sending it to you by PM but it exceeds the amount allowed to send. It's terribly flawed, very selective and fails to address any refuting evidence, of which there is plenty.  If you do want to read it PM me your email. 
Comment icon #11 Posted by DieChecker 4 years ago
New Guinea? I'd not read that before.  
Comment icon #12 Posted by CritterGirl 4 years ago
Aww what a shame. Poor beautiful species. They were so unique.

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