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How Did The Tasmanian Tiger Become Extinct?


When the British came to Australia, there was a estimated 5000 Tasmanian tigers (also known as Thylacine's) . But due to excessive hunting, introduced diseases and habitat destruction, the species became extinct in 1936.

Firstly, what is a Thylacine? The Tasmanian tiger is the largest marsupial carnivore and grew to the size of a medium sized dog. They got the name "Tasmanian tiger" because of it's dark stripes and orange-brown fur. Female Thylacine's had a pouch to carry their young. 2000 years ago, the Thylacine became extinct everywhere but Tasmania, fossils of this creature have been found in Papua New Guinea and mainland Australia. This was because they had to compete with dingo's for food.


The first European settlements were made in Tasmania, where colonists cleared land for farmland and crops. The farmers blamed the Tasmanian Tiger for taking their farm animals- even though experts have said that it is more likely that feral dogs where taking the animals. So in 1830, a bounty hunt was set up for anyone who could prove that they killed a Thylacine. The reward was £1 for killing a adult and 10 shillings for killing a pup. At least 3,500 Tasmanian Tigers where killed between 1830 and 1920 because of hunting.




British colonization wiped out the Thylacines population because of hunting. Another reason was the introduction of wild dogs meaning the Thylacines had to compete for food and land clearing which meant that their habitat grew smaller and smaller.


The last known shooting of a Thylacine took place in 1930 and by the middle of the 1930s, sightings of the marsupial had already become very rare and people started to worry about the population of the Tasmanian Tiger. The thylacine was given protection status in 1936. But just 56 days later, on September 6th, the last known animal died at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart.


So, what we know is the Tasmanian tiger is extinct...but is it really? There has been many sittings of the Tasmanian tiger, including some caught on video. I have watched the videos of the sightings and looked at photos. I will admit that some videos really looked like a Thylacine. You could see distinct features like the straight tail. But that is something only a scientist can solve.


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