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A farmer captured a picture of what appears to be the long-lost Tasmanian tiger. The farmer, named Peter Groves, spotted a strange-looking animal while he was out for a walk near Clifton Springs, Victoria, Australia.
Groves described the animal as being “funny looking” with a “big long tail and stumpy ears” and that’s when he decided to take a photo of the animal with his mobile phone. He described the animal as not being afraid and it actually watched him for about five minutes. He said, “It could just be a mangy fox, but it seems to be bigger than a fox and it’s not shy.” This is quite surprising as Tasmanian tigers (or thylacines) were known to be very shy and avoided humans all together. He went on by saying, “There is a lot of bush and a lot of cover and I think it’s living quite comfortably there.”
Mr. Groves was out for a stroll on a walking track that’s located between Beacon Point and Portarlington when he noticed the strange animal down a gorge. In fact, he claimed that this was his second sighting of the animal in only weeks.
Although the picture is a bit fuzzy, the animal does appear to have many of the same features as a Tasmanian tiger, except that they are believed to have become extinct on mainland Australia in the 20th century. Tasmanian tigers had a very distinct appearance which looked like a medium-to-large sized dog with a long stiff tail, and an abdominal pouch. When fully grown, it would measure six feet long from its nose to the tip of its tail; stood around two feet tall; and weighed up to 30 kg. It had short, soft fur that was mostly brown with the exception of 13 to 20 dark brown-black stripes that extended from its shoulders to the base of its tail.
These largest known carnivorous marsupials became extinct after European settlers were introduced to the area and killed many of them. The last known Tasmanian tiger was thought to have died at Hobart Zoo in 1936. Although there have been hundreds of reported sightings of the Tasmanian tiger, there hasn’t been any solid proof that the animal still exists. That’s why the very compelling picture taken by Mr. Groves is so exciting.