Scientists Launch Search For The Supposedly Extinct Tasmanian Tiger

A pair of Thylacines, a male and female, received by Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. in 1902. Baker; EJ Keller/The Smithsonian Institution/Public Domain

However, many people theorize that a few managed to escape the wrath of extinction and quietly live on in isolated pockets of Tropical North Queensland. Since the 1930s until recently, there have been thousands of unconfirmed sightings of them in Queensland from the local residents, campers, and park rangers.

“One of those observers was a long-time employee of the Queensland National Parks Service, and the other was a frequent camper and outdoorsman in north Queensland,” Professor Bill Laurance, co-investigator of the project, said in a statement. “All observations of putative Thylacines to date have been at night, and in one case four animals were observed at close range – about 20 feet away – with a spotlight.

“We have cross-checked the descriptions we received of eyeshine color, body size and shape, animal behavior, and other attributes, and these are inconsistent with known attributes of other large-bodied species in north Queensland such as dingoes, wild dogs or feral pigs.”

This is perhaps one of the most scientific searches for the Thylacine put together in recent decades. Although that doesn’t mean people haven't been searching for it. In 2005, the Australian magazine Bulletin and a Tasmanian tour operator put up a reward of AUS $3 million (US $2.2 million) for the live capture of a thylacine. Many dismissed the competition as self-promotion for the magazine and, needless to say, nobody claimed the prize.

Perhaps after all these years of unconfirmed sightings and grainy video footage, the truth will finally be revealed?

You can download's "Unknown Tourism" travel posters of extinct animals for free on their website. Although this may need to be updated soon. 

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