Australian man claims Tasmanian tigers are alive; here's why he could be wrong

The Tasmanian tiger had pouches like kangaroos where they carried their young, but resembled dogs in their physical appearances, with skulls that bore similarities to the grey wolf and the red fox

FP Trending February 24, 2021 16:41:55 IST
Australian man claims Tasmanian tigers are alive; here's why he could be wrong

A file image of the Tasmanian tiger. Imag courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/ Report of the Smithsonian Institution/Smithsonian Institution archives

A Tasmanian Tiger enthusiast from Australia has now claimed that he has found proof that the animal still exists in the country.

Neil Waters, the President of Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia (TAGOA), has uploaded a video on YouTube where, speaking from a small town in northeast Tasmania, Neil claimed to have found some photos of three animals from a camera trap that proves that Tasmanian Tigers are still alive.

Speaking to the camera, Waters claimed that he, along with a few independent expert witnesses and canine, feline judges, as well as a vet, knows that they (the animals) are (Tasmanian tigers), adding that he has passed the images to biologist and wildlife expert Nick Mooney to be verified and he's fairly confident it will provide the first evidence of a thylacine (the scientific name for a Tasmanian Tiger) in the wild in nearly a century.

In the video, Neil went on to add that they believe that the first image is the mum, the second is the baby and the third is the father.

Waters also admitted that while some of the markings on the animals are ambiguous, but the baby sported stripes, a stiff tail, a hock, and colour, lending credibility to the Tasmanian Tiger theory.

Waters went on to add that this is the strongest evidence the animal exists in 35 years.

According to a report by ladbible, Waters started the Thylacine Awareness Group of South Australia in 2014 after his second alleged sighting of the animal in Tasmania's north-east. Two years later he posted a video of an alleged Tasmanian Tiger in the state that caused quite a stir.

At that time, Waters had told ABC Radio that four people in a house looking out of the window had seen the animal coming out of a creek and running through the front yard. He had even claimed that there have had over 4,500 sightings on the mainland since 1936.

However, it turns out that Waters may have had made a few too-tall claims. According to a report by Daily Mail, the expert Waters entrusted the photos too, Nick Mooney, the Honorary Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart, has dismissed Waters' claims.

A report by Daily Mail's Australia states that Mooney has concluded that based on the physical characteristics shown in the photos, the animals are very unlikely to be thylacines and are most probably Tasmanian pademelons — a type of wallaby.

was last documented in the first half of the 20th Century.

Benjamin, the last Tasmanian Tiger or thylacine, died in captivity in 1936. The animal was officially declared extinct 35 years ago.

The Tasmanian tiger had pouches like kangaroos where they carried their young, but resembled dogs in their physical appearances, with skulls that bore similarities to the grey wolf and the red fox.

Known to be a quiet and solitary creature, there have been calls to resurrect the extinct creatures for over two decades. The Tasmanian Government's Department of Parks, Water, and Environment believe any sort of group would likely suffer from inbreeding, making long-term survival untenable.

According to the department, even if a few individuals did exist, it is unlikely that such a tiny population would be able to maintain a sufficient genetic diversity to allow for the species to survive long-term.

A study conducted in 2017 had found that the species, alive until 1938, would have struggled to survive even without human contact. Researchers from the University of Melbourne said that problems with genetic diversity could be traced back as far as 70,000 years ago when the population suffered due to a climatic event.

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