|The Thylacine - also called the
"Tasmanian Tiger" - was a marsupial carnivore similar to a medium to large sized dog. Also called the "Tastig", it was neither a dog nor a cat but the only member of the family thylacinae. A significant physical feature of the animal was the width of its jaws when fully opened - it possessed the largest 'gape' of any animal known in recent times.
The Thylacine died out in Australia about 4000 years ago. It survived in Tasmania but was severely persecuted by European settlers who placed a bounty on it. By 1910 only a few individuals were left - yet the bounty hunting continued. The last wild Thylacine was shot in 1933, and what was probably the last living Thylacine (see movie below) died in 1936 at the Beaumaris Zoo at Hobbard.
Since then, several expeditions have been sent into the wilderness of Tasmania hoping to discover surviving specimens. Such hopes are fed to this day by rumors and claims of sightings of living Thylacines by the local residents.
However, there has been no objective evidence of the survival of the Tasmaninan Tiger in more than 60 years, and there is very little hope that Thylacines still live in the Tasmanian wild. Neverthless, Cryptozoologists keep searching. There are also efforts to "re-create" the Thylacine via cloning, using the DNA of a Thylacine baby kept preserved in alcohol for 100 years.
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