Scientists Now Looking For This Extinct Animal After Sightings [Look]
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
There have been reports of recent sightings of the thylacine even though the striped oddity has been gone for 81 years – and declared officially extinct in the 1980s. The sightings have been enough to prompt scientists to go on a search for living thylacines.
The exotic creature was last seen in 1936 – until perhaps recently? It takes years for an animal to be declared officially extinct – and when it is, it’s incredibly rare that it is ever seen or heard again.
However, this is definitely not the case for the elusive thylacine as it was even mistakenly believed to be extinct 2,000 years ago when it stopped living in mainland Australia and tucked itself into the wild. However, the last wild one was thought to be killed in 1930 and six years later, the last one in captivity died at Hobart zoo.
Recent and detailed potential sightings of the Tasmanian tiger – aka Tasmanian wolf – have given scientists enough prompting to begin looking. (source)
Alleged thylacine sighting in 2008:
Professor Bill Laurance from James Cook University says he has “plausible and detailed descriptions” from two people about mystery animals they had seen in Cape York peninsula; the animals could possibly be thylacines. One of the witnesses is a long-time employee of the Queensland National Parks Service; the other a frequent camper.
The descriptions of the sightings – some as close as 20 feet away – described physical features that are distinct from other large species in the area, animals like dingoes, wild dogs or feral pigs.
Sandra Abell, a researcher with James Cook University’s Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science who was leading the field survey, said they had been contacted with more possible sightings since their intentions were publicized, notes the Guardian.
The team will soon set up over 50 cameras to try and record a glimpse. Abell says if they get a shot, it would be “incredibly lucky.” “It’s not a mythical creature. A lot of the descriptions people give, it’s not a glimpse in the car headlights. People who say they’ve actually seen them can describe them in great detail, so it’s hard to say they’ve seen anything else,” she said.
One thing’s certain – the scientific community is taking this seriously which gives a glimmer of hope that the thylacine was merely hiding again.
If the thylacine is still around, it probably doesn’t want to be found. Frankly, we’re rooting for the thylacine to continue surviving with as much freedom as it can possibly enjoy.