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IT wasn’t a dog. And it was too big to be a cat. Venus Bay Caravan Park owner Tony Holgate knew exactly what was staring back at him — a Tasmanian tiger. In what is set to reignite the debate over whether the marsupial really is extinct, the 67-year-old said he was convinced after a dawn encounter just three weeks ago on the rambling coast of South Gippsland in Victoria.
“It was just sitting there looking back at me ... I knew what it was,’’ Mr Holgate said. “It was with about half a dozen kangaroos and it ran off with them into the scrub.’’
The sun was just starting to rise as Mr Holgate conducted an inspection of the holiday park he has run with wife Mary for the past two years.
“Last Wednesday at about 10.30pm, I was driving along Ullathorne Road when it crossed the road in front of me,” he said. “First of all, I thought it was a fox or a cat, but as it moved off the bitumen on to the green verge, I realised it was dog sized, about the same as an Alsatian.”
Mr Murphy said as he got closer to the animal, its tail captured his attention.
“It was the long, straight tail, which could have been a metre long. It was straight out, white and strong looking,” he said.
Because he was in his car, Mr Murphy was unable to see the creature’s head, but he did recognise one of the Tasmanian tiger’s most distinctive traits.
“The thing that really made me twig was, as I drove past it, I saw the stripes down its side and onto its flank,” he said. “I thought to myself, I have seen something exceptional here, so I turned around and went back, but it had disappeared.”
Mr Murphy said in the past, he has heard two accounts of Tasmanian tiger sightings, both from reliable sources. “After seeing one myself, I thought I would report it so other people can keep a lookout,” he said.
It would be REALLY cool if these guys were still with us - it certainly is possible.
I'd like to believe they're out there - especially when considering how quickly humans are extincting other amazing species...
originally posted by: Subaeruginosa
a reply to: theantediluvian
I remember as a kid my Grandmother always used to tell me stories about her family members and friends who had seen Thylacines in east Gippsland, she was convinced they still survived there and the possibility always fascinated me... It is possible I suppose, since there's still a lot of think forest in that region.
But personally, I think south western Tasmania is the most likely place where they still exist... Its just a massive area of (mostly) inaccessible thick forest.
Its so disappointing how we just massacred such a fascinating and primitive creature to (probably) total extinction, without documenting or learning barely a single thing about it.