Tasmania Tiger: Myth or a living Truth?

The hunt for the elusive Thylacine or the Tasmanian Tiger in the wild land of Australia is a myth, as last of this species is reported to have died at Hobart Zoo in the year 1936. And this species is presumed to be extinct today.

It was the young Thylacians that once roamed in the wetlands of Tasmania, and then in later years were found in the woodlands and open forest of Australia and were called as Corinna. This pouched dog with a wolf head was a carnivorous marsupial that had dark stripes in its body like a tiger and was commonly called as Tasmania Tiger, being native to Tasmania. This species was similar to either wolf or dog but have evolved over time as an independent species. The colour of this species ranged from yellowish brown to grey and it looked like an elongated dog with a very stiff tail. From the head to the tip of the tail, this wild animal measured 1 metre and weighed about 30 kilograms. The fur of these Thylacians is short, soft and dense. These nocturnal species lived on wallabies, mammals and even poultry and sheep and hunted animals almost to the size of small kangaroos. These animals were hunted till extinction as because they attacked poultry and sheep very often.

Tasmania Tiger

The wilderness in which these marsupials lived...
Tasmanian Tigers widely lived in the vast land of Australia that stretched from New Guinea in North to Tasmania in South, often in the Tarkine wilderness along the bank of slow flowing Pieman River and they lived almost 2000 years ago.This data is revealed mostly from Aboriginal rock paintings and fossils. Their habitat were mainly the dry eucalyptus forest, open woodlands and the grassy plains. The traces of this shy and secretive animal is still a subject of research.

Tasmania Tiger

The tale of extinction...
Alhough officially this species have been declared as extinct, traces of sudden sight and unconfirmed report of existence of these animals in the mainland of Australia is a matter of myth, yet to be true. As the land of Tasmania became more civilised and densely populated, roads soon began to be made through the deep jungles and this mysterious species began to dwindle in numbers. It is reported that the sudden decrease in the number of Thylacian Tiger is due to increased destruction of their habitation and hunting in the early 20th century. It is the arrival of European settlers that marked the end of this species. Some died due to distemper disease too. The proof, that these animals were widely hunted by human, can be found in the rock paintings at Kakadu National Park-a glaring example of human folly that often exaggerated the fact that these animals killed their poultry, and hence these Tasmanian tigers were hunted.

There had been cautious movement since 1901 to protect Thylacine tigers and until 1986, they were declared as endangered species. With its extinction, efforts are being made to bring back this marsupial through cloning. This by itself has raised several debates on whether the cost and the time should be spent in cloning or should be productively channelised to protect the other endangered species of Australia such that the unfortunate tale of Tasmanian tigers is not repeated.

Tasmania Tiger
 

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