More than 1,000km south of Sydney, Australia, lies the island of Tasmania, a unique land of mountains, rivers, undiscovered valleys and mysterious forests. It is an island that has been separated from the rest of the world by the ocean surrounding it, for millions of years.|
Although there are many animals found here that are also found on mainland Australia, Tasmania is an island that has a number of species found nowhere else on Earth. Sadly however, at least 60 years ago Tasmania's most dominant predator, the Tasmanian Tiger, was thought to have become extinct.
The Tasmanian Tiger (also known as the Thylacine) was a wolf-like marsupial that was once found across mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea, as well as Tasmania. Their population numbers began to decline rapidly about 8 million years ago, when the number of sub-species fell from 6 to 1 in just 3 million years.
The Tasmanian Tiger is not related to the tigers of Asia, but shares it's ancestry with other marsupials including wallabies and kangaroos. The Tasmanian Tiger had the appearance of a dog, with the yellow/orange and black stripes of a tiger, and carried it's young in a pouch in the same way as a kangaroo.
Unfortunately, when foreign settlers brought sheep to the island, Tasmanian Tigers ended up taking the blame for loss of livestock when there was no proof that they were the ones doing the damage, and within 50 years sightings of them had ceased. The Tasmanian Tiger was declared extinct on September 7th 1936, when the last one (known as Benjamin) died in a zoo.
Ben the Beaver's Barrel of Laughs