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
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.
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.
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
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.