Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Sad Story of the Thylacine

Have you ever heard of the Tasmanian Devil? How about its long lost relative, the Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine? If you think tasmanian tiger is related to a tiger, you're wrong. It's not a tiger.

The thylacine lived in Tasmania and Austrailia long ago. When dingoes appeared, most thylacines in Australia disapperaed. But in Tasmania, where there weren't dingoes, they survived until settlers arrived.

Settlers and farmers killed the thylacines because they looked even scarier than wolves, and they thought they would kill their livestock. Unfortuatley, they were nearly wiped out. They lived for a while in zoos in London, Bronx Zoo New York, Washington D.C., and Hobart in Tasmania. Hobart Zoo was where the last thylacine died in 1936.
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We're pretty sure they're extinct, but there have been unconfirmed sightings. If there was a confirmed sighting I would feel really, really happy. I saw a mounted thylacine at the Natural History Museum in Washington, DC, but I would love to see a real one. For more information, check out the Thylacine Museum. Below is the last known video of a thylacine.

Have we learned anything from the thylacine? Can we stop the extinctions?