posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 08:50 PM
Here is a contemporary Australian newspaper report from 3 November 1821 about the Thylacine which serves to debunk the BBCs assertion that the animal
was incapable of taking sheep.
NATIVE TYGER, OR HYENA.-On Sunday last, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon... the sheep were suddenly frightened at the sight of one of these ferocious
animals. ...soon perceived the Hyena pursuing the flock right a-head, when he made a sudden spring among the sheep, and fastened upon a lamb, which he
immediately killed. The man then ran up with his dog; but the Tyger made off before he could reach the spot: the dog however shortly after came up
with the Hyena, when he turned round and attacked the dog, who, with the assistance of his master, at last managed to kill him. The lamb was rather
large, about 6 months old. The Tyger measured 6 feet from the nose to the extremity of the tail; and is the second one that has been killed on nearly
the same spot within these last twelve months.
These old newspapers give some great insights into the attitudes of the day and there are also some surprises. For instance, one report talks about
two "tygers" being shot and killed at Port Phillip in 1803. For those who aren't familiar with the place names, Port Phillip is on the Australian
mainland and is now the city of Melbourne in Victoria.
Other newspaper articles speak of a £1 government bounty for each Thylacine scalp - a LOT of money in those days. Even when it became clear in the
1860s and 70s that the Thylacine was becoming critically endangered, the Tasmanian government of the day refused to protect it. A planned Thylacine
exhibit at the Hobart Zoo was blocked by the state government who still considered the animal to be vermin. As late as the 1930s there was an old
timer bleating about how he had lost 2000 sheep over six months to the Thylacine and if he saw one he'd shoot it in the neck. Soon after, the last
remaining Thylacine in captivity died and they were officially regarded as being extinct in the 1950s.
Do I think they still exist? Sure I do. I think there are probably some remnant populations on the mainland as well. Back in the early 1970s my
parents were driving down the Macquarie Pass on the NSW south coast escarpment and they both saw one. That gives me hope these animals are still