posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 04:55 PM
'Tassie Tiger' caught on film
By Margaretta Pos
February 27, 2005
From: The Sunday Tasmanian
A GERMAN visitor to Tasmania has taken several photographs of what appears to be a Tasmanian tiger.
The man's brother was in Hobart last week and showed the digital images to staff at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
He also showed them to Parks and Wildlife Service officers.
The shots were taken recently in the Lake St Clair region.
However, the German visitor did not leave any images for further study.
He has since left for Melbourne.
Last night TMAG marketing manager Peter West said the museum was unable to comment about the veracity of the images.
"All I can say is that the German was here last week," Mr West said.
"He was the brother of a visitor who took the photographs. There were images of a tiger in several of them.
"But the museum is not in a position to confirm whether they really are of a tiger.
"All I can say is that the photographs were brought to us. We don't have them and cannot comment about them."
The Tasmanian tiger is generally believed to be extinct.
The last tiger in the Hobart Zoo died in 1936.
Since then, there have been many reported sightings, but none has been verified.
Recently, a major project to clone a tiger at the Australian Museum in Sydney was axed because the DNA sample to be used was not good enough.
Tiger riddle grows
By Danny Rose
February 28, 2005
MYSTERIOUS photographs at the centre of the latest Tasmanian tiger sightings contain a thylacine, experts agree.
Two senior Tasmanian figures who were asked to inspect the photographs last week agree - the blurry and partially obscured animal shown is
unmistakably a thylacine.
The photographs included the distinctive stripes Tasmanian tigers were renowned for, the pair said yesterday.
It now comes down to whether the images, snapped by a digital camera, can be proven to be authentic.
The senior figures are Department of Primary Industries Nature Conservation Branch wildlife biologist Nick Mooney and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
director Bill Bleathman.
They viewed the two photographs at the request of a Victorian man last week.
Mr Mooney has investigated hundreds of thylacine sightings.
It is claimed the pictures were taken by the Victorian man's brother, described only as a tourist from Germany, who was bushwalking in remote
wilderness near Lake St Clair during recent weeks.
"I had an extensive look at the pictures," Mr Mooney said.
"It is clearly more likely a thylacine than any other animal, but the authenticity of the picture does pose some issues."
The photographs were not copied before they were taken back to Victoria.
But Mr Mooney and Mr Bleathman gave a detailed account of the images yesterday as they said an investigation would continue.
The pictures were described as:
# "Out of focus" or motion-blurred, attributed to possible excitement at the discovery.
# Showing an animal disappearing into bush about 20m away from the photographer.
# The animal was mostly obscured except for part of its back, which appeared to show a Tasmanian tiger's distinctive stripes.
# Parts of the head and tail were partially visible through the bushes.
"They showed the back of a thylacine but its head, hindquarters and tail were not clearly visible," Mr Bleathman said.
"We are always interested in these sightings because we have the world's experts on thylacines here, and we investigate all sightings to the best of
"We looked at the photographs and determined it was inconclusive. I'm not saying it's a hoax."
He said the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery received up to 10 thylacine sightings a year, but the latest was "the first one claiming to have a
It is a harder task to authenticate a digital picture, which can be easily manipulated using computer programs, than an image snapped by a
It is understood the images are in the possession of Melbourne newspaper The Age, but they had not been published yesterday.
Tasmanian tigers are generally considered to have become extinct in the wild about 1933, when the last wild thylacine was caught in the Florentine
The last known Tasmanian tiger died in Hobart's former zoo in 1936.
Mr Mooney said yesterday it was possible the species could have remained undiscovered, living in small pockets in Tasmania's most remote wilderness,
as it was resilient to in-breeding.
"It is possible but I think it is against the odds ... I'm open-minded," he said.
Premier Paul Lennon said more study of the images was needed.
"Obviously if their sighting can be authenticated then it would be great news for Tasmania," Mr Lennon said.