Are Tasmanian Tigers really extinct?
The last known Tasmanian Tiger, photographed (below) in 1933, upon its capture from the wild, died in captivity at Tasmania’s Hobart Zoo three years later. Many people believe the species is now extinct, but is it? For over eighty years, zoologists continue to question if the Tasmanian tiger still roams in the wilderness.
Named for the characteristic strips, the thylacinus cynocephalus, commonly called thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, was the largest known carnivorous marsupial in modern history. At one time these animals lived freely in Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. By the early twentieth century, however, the population had dwindled due to hunting, and it could only be found in Tasmania.
According to a November 11, 2013 article by Sara Gates in the Huffington Post, the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) launched a new search sending researchers and zoologists to Tasmania, near Smithton, in an attempt to find evidence that the Tasmanian tiger still exists. Several local residents claim to have spotted the creature and have submitted samples of animal feces to the researchers for DNA testing.
Unfortunately, no conclusive evidence has been discovered and until it is, the possible survival of the Tasmanian tiger remains a mystery.
****Kathy MacKenzie is an avid animal lover, an award-winning author and founder of Feather and Fur, an animal photography service. Kathy’s photography has hung in galleries in Southern California, been published in international magazines and can be found on the Internet. You can follow Kathy on Twitter and Facebook.