The Tasmanian Tiger is a creature thought to have been extinct for decades. While not exactly a cryptid, their status as being extinct yet still apparently being sighted makes them interesting to us here at The Oz Effect.
‘GREYHOUND-LIKE’ is exactly what independent Tasmanian tiger researcher Michael Moss likes to hear when contacted with an alleged tiger sighting.
“It’s not common knowledge that the male thylacine has a slender face compared to the female and that the body narrows at the flanks much like a greyhound, so when I hear a description like this it adds that extra layer of credibility,” Mr Moss said.
Last week Mr Moss was contacted by Berwick resident, Rob Taylor who believes he spotted a Tassie tiger about three years ago on his way to Buxton.
“It was dawn and I was on a regular drive on Wellington Road near Emerald when I saw this shape on the road in front of me – it was sitting on the road and got up as I started to approach it and then wandered off into the scrub,” Mr Taylor said.
It was dark when he noticed the slender figure but Mr Taylor said he still got within about 20 metres of the animal, with his headlights shining right at the stripes.
“I was on my own and I noticed the distinctive rear stripes across its back which sloped toward its rear, with quite a long tail which wasn’t fluffy.
“I could see the cross markings darker and lighter and I said to myself; that’s a Tasmanian tiger!” he said.
Mr Taylor sighted the ‘long and lean’ animal as he was driving next to the Cardinia reservoir.
“When it slowly stood up and wandered into the scrub I could see its distinctive stripes and its back sloping downwards, greyhound-like in appearance – and I had had a good sleep and hadn’t been drinking,” Mr Taylor laughed.
Having grown up on a farm in the Otways, Mr Taylor said he knew the bush well and could recognise things pretty quickly.
“It looked exactly like the pictures I’ve seen of Tassie tigers but I haven’t seen anything like it again – I’m lucky to have seen it once,” he explained.
Mr Moss says he is looking forward to the day that dash cameras are installed in every car.
“About three quarters of the alleged sightings I’ve heard of over the years have been in cars and once dash cameras reach critical mass it’ll only be a matter of time before someone gets footage of a Tasmanian tiger on their dash camera,” he added.
Over a decade ago Mr Moss was alerted to a sighting in Clematis near the Cardinia reservoir.
“That is in the same catchment area as Rob’s sighting,” he said.
After receiving a few blank expressions when telling of his sighting three years ago, Mr Taylor said: “The world’s full of people doubting- but my best bet is, I saw a Tasmanian tiger.”
Source: Georgia Westgarth