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Sightings of the supposedly extinct Tasmanian tiger had been reported several times in the last three years, according to an Australian government agency.
The Tasmanian tiger, also known as thylacine / ˈθaɪ ləˌsaɪn /, was declared extinct after the last one died in Hobart Zoo in 1936.
According to the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), the thylacine population dwindled because of excessive hunting. Other causes of the animal’s rapid disappearance were habitat destruction, foreign diseases, and competitive species—like wild dogs—brought by British colonizers in the 19th century.
Though the animal had been declared extinct for over 80 years, the DPIPWE recently publicized a report containing numerous accounts of thylacine sightings. The most recent one occurred in July, when a man claimed to have seen the animal’s footprint on a mountain. A couple also allegedly saw the reportedly extinct animal crossing the road back in February.
In 2018, an individual reported a sighting at Hartz Mountains National Park. The person believed that it was a Tasmanian tiger along with two more cubs.
In 2017, a group presented footage to prove that the thylacine is not actually extinct. After going on an expedition in a Tasmanian town, the team claimed to have documented the animal barking.
Despite these claims, the DPIPWE has not made any pronouncements saying that the thylacine is not actually extinct. On the DPIPWE’s website, the agency listed some of the conducted searches for the animal, which did not produce any hard evidence of the Tasmanian tiger’s existence. Nonetheless, the agency said it will continue to document any sightings of the animal.