Tour of Tasmania: Tasmanian Tiger
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The Tasmanian Tiger , also called the Tasmanian Wolf, is a large marsupial native to Tasmania. Most scientists believe it to be extinct, however each year there are about a dozen unconfirmed sightings in remote areas of the state, and several reported sets of Tiger tracks. In January 1995, a Parks and Wildlife Service officer observed a Tiger in the Pyengana region of eastern Tasmania, and being the most reliable sighting in some time, the government launched an investigation to possibly confirm the existence of the Tiger.

The Tiger was about 5 feet (1.5 m) long, and had light brown fur with dark stripes across its lower back. Above is a photo of the last Tasmanian Tiger in captivity, taken at the Hobart Zoo in 1933. Note how widely a Tiger's jaws open - the jaws of a Tasmanian Tiger are believed to open wider than any other mammal.

Movie Tasmanian Tiger at Hobart Zoo, 1.58Mb QuickTime movie.

Tigers were common toward the start of the century but were hunted extensively because they threatened sheep. Tiger skins and a preserved Tiger can be seen at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart. Footage of Tasmanian Tigers can be viewed at the Tasmanian Devil Park in Taranna (near Port Arthur).

Tasmanian Tigers are also known as thylacines after their Latin name, Thylacinus cynocephalus.

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