Lost Tasmanian tiger is discovered after nearly 90 years

By James Brizuela | Released

The lost remains of the last known thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian tiger, have now been found in an office cupboard at Hobart Zoo. The remains found are significant for the simple reason that these are the last known remains of the animal and have been missing for nearly 85 years. The animal had apparently already died at Hobart Zoo in September 1936 and the remains were then supposed to be transferred to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) but were never found.

Tasmanian tiger remains

Zoologists had believed that the Tasmanian tiger’s skin and skull had long since disappeared since 1936, and rightly so. However, detective Robert Paddle and museum curator of vertebrate zoology Kathryn Medlock were the ones who discovered that the animal’s remains were kept in a cabinet in the museum’s education office. The animal had also not been properly identified, as the remains were taken from a display to be displayed across the country, unbeknownst to staff that they were handling the remains of the last known thylacine.

dr Medlock also explained that the improper handling of the Tasmanian tiger’s remains was because, back in 1936, no one believed it to be the last known species of this species after it went extinct that year. In fact, the museum offered a £50 reward if someone were able to capture and bring in a live thylacine, but nobody ever did. Morbid as it may sound, at least we know why nobody ever came to collect the £50 reward as the animal was nowhere to be found.

dr Medlock has also revealed that the remains of the Tasmanian tiger have now been moved to the museum’s zoological section in Rosny, a Hobart suburb. The remains were also placed in a special case designed to preserve the remains as best as possible, with Medlock stating, “We want them to last a long time, so they’re looked after very carefully.” We’d imagine that after the the last remains of an extinct species were found, those remains would become a highly sought-after item.

The Tasmanian tiger is a marsupial native to mainland Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. Although the animal had a pouch similar to that of the kangaroo, it was nicknamed the Tasmanian tiger because of the stripes on its back and its anatomy, which was similar to that of the tiger and wolf. The marsupial was largely shy and nocturnal, although it was considered an apex predator, although the size of its prey had been a matter of debate for decades.

The remains of this Tasmanian tiger can now be viewed by the whole world, or rather by those who take a trip to Hobart Zoo. If you happen to travel to Tasmania and are able to see this magnificent animal, remind the staff there not to stuff the deceased animal in a cupboard. We’re kidding, don’t do this, but be sure to check out the last remains of an animal that’s been extinct for almost 90 years.

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