IT wasn’t a dog. And it was too big to be a cat. Venus Bay Caravan Park owner Tony Holgate knew exactly what was staring back at him — a Tasmanian tiger.
In what is set to reignite the debate over whether the marsupial really is extinct, the 67-year-old said he was convinced after a dawn encounter just three weeks ago on the rambling coast of South Gippsland in Victoria.The last thylacine in captivity died in the Hobart Zoo in 1936.
“It was just sitting there looking back at me ... I knew what it was,’’ Mr Holgate said. “It was with about half a dozen kangaroos and it ran off with them into the scrub.’’
The sun was just starting to rise as Mr Holgate conducted an inspection of the holiday park he has run with wife Mary for the past two years.
Weeks earlier an overseas guest at the park had made a similar observation. “They asked me what the animal was that they had seen running around the park, but I didn’t give it a second thought,’’ Mr Holgate said.
For decades the search for evidence for the supposedly extinct animal has inspired the imagination of scientists, researchers and the public. The last thylacine died in captivity at the Hobart Zoo in 1936.
But sightings of the animal have been prevalent ever since, particularly along the Gippsland coast where it is believed a breeding pair of Tasmanian tigers were released at Wilsons Promontory just after WWI.
Mr Holgate said he didn’t report his sighting to authorities. “It’s not really something you tell people about,’’ he said.
But caravan park cleaner Kylie Anderson backed his claim, saying she spotted a tiger on a separate occasion. “I saw it hanging around a tent,’’ she said.
South Gippsland Deputy Mayor Mohya Davies said there had always been speculation about the existence of Tasmanian tigers on the coast. ‘’It’s a tragedy they became extinct in the first place.’’
Nice to talk with you yesterday.
Here are more details of my sighting approx. 9.30pm on 14th Dec. 2015.
I was slowly cruising the Lilydale Lakeside housing estate searching for Christmas lights for the kids to view. I was stopped at an intersection when I spotted what I am convinced was a thylacine. At first I chuckled that it was the ugliest dog I had ever seen, so ugly that I just stared for a while as I took in all its features. Then it dawned on me that it wasn’t an ugly dog it was a normal looking Thylacine. Oversized large square jaw, too large for its body which was as skinny as a whippet, rump was much lower than the top of it’s shoulders, with really lowset hocks, tail that stuck straight out pointed downwards. It wasn’t in a hurry but calmly walked out of view.
Do Tasmanian Tigers make a similar sound to Tasmanian devils when they are hunting? In September 2015, I stepped outside about 11pm one night. There was a terrible noise coming from the “bush” next to my house in Lilydale. I could hear the squealing of a rabbit or other small creature, obviously being attacked, but also there was a most terrible, loud and low growling sound, coming from the attacker. I have never heard anything quite as scary as the growling sound, so I quickly checked on my pony and sheep who were alarmed but safe and I hurried back inside.
Does anyone know what noise Tasmanian Tigers make?
My car was stationary, pointed north in a roundabout, That night there weren’t Xmas lights in the court, and remarkably no other traffic around, which is unusual as it’s 150 metres from best light display in town. It was a moonless night and the streetlights showed the silhouette of a thylacine standing still and relaxed in the driveway. It was too dark to see the animals colour, but I’m convinced the silhouette was unmistakable that of a thylacine, see description in earlier email. Unthreatened the thylacine stood still for quite some time as I studied it’s features, after 7- 10 seconds, it strolled towards the house and out of view behind a small fence.
Glad we found your website!
Hi you might think I am crazy but this is serious me and my partner both just saw a Tasmanian tiger. It was about 11:30 pm tonight (Tues 11th September 2015). We walked out our driveway and our front yard faces a massive wetland area near the strezlecki ranges and Morwell river and what not.. But anyway it was chasing a car across the road then stopped and just stared at us before running back and hiding next to a wall in the shadow, before it ran back we got a very clear outline image of it, it was quite slender in the hind quarter and abit bigger built in the front, it had an enormously long skinny tail that had an s shape to it but didn't drag on the ground, the head of the creature wasn't your normal dog shaped head it appeared to have a rather angled straight top skull without a smaller muzzle it just tapered down, and the head was more of a triangle shape from the side, when it turned it's head and looked at us it's ears were very wide and went partly down the side of the head with a large distance between them, once it ran and I struggled to get my partners phone off her she was shit scared at this time, I got within 3 feet of it and it stood up into the phone light and I screamed at her come quick it's a Tasmanian tiger, it ran around the massive shed I was chasing it like I never ran before, my partner in pursuit after me, I lost it for a minute looking around saw it's eyes as I took of after it it bolted and somehow was on the other side of the wire fence we walked over and couldn't see it very clear it shut it's eyes. We couldn't see it so ran over to get a torch and searched the paddock but nothing could be seen.. I beleive myself it went back towards the strezlecki wetlands area...
If u need any more info email me please never in my life would I think this could happen..
Things have been particularly quiet over the past 12 Months with only a few reports coming in along with a number of individual's in the community undermining my research and trying to steal the thunder. I have therefor adopted a different tactic and have chosen to limit some of the details surrounding the events and the locations of any future articles that I place on to this site. It is unfortunate but I need to do this to assure that I can monitor the animals in such a way that they are not disturbed or harmed by the intrusion of human activity.
Here are a couple of photo's that you might like to look at from my cameras of the thylacines in pairs and with pups. The infra red flashes 'spook' the thylacines!
2 Adults with 3 pups in the foreground.
2 tigers eating at the pork fat on a tree 1 looking at the camera (the Flash) the other at the fat.
On Friday 17th July 2015 at 9pm near Glenfern Rd in Upwey Victoria Toni B and her husband drove in to their street when they had the following encounter. It came running up from the creek and stopped and we all just looked at each other, then it ran across the road in front of our vehicle towards a large tree stump with alot of foliage around it. The animal looked like an dog crossed with a cat body and it gave us a fright because we couldn't work out what it was. It was pretty big.....bigger than a fox and had faint stripes and a very long tail. No offence to the poor animal but it was ugly.
We drove on past and as soon as we arrived home we googled images of thylacines and we both new exactly what we had seen. To me it would make sense for it to be living in the reserve, or on the banks of the road as it's near water and pretty quiet.
"February 5th 2015 11.00pm it was a clear sky, with a full moon and I had a brand new street light placed outside my property near the road" says Barb from Loch Sport. It was almost lit up like daylight and I was letting the 2 dogs out for a walk in the front yard as they had become restless.
I had a bird feeder in the corner of the block and the dogs headed towards it, but they soon came racing back and cowerred next to me on the veranda. It had been a hot day and I could smell this sewerage type of smell wafting in the air and I looked towards the street lamp where I saw an animal like a dog but not a dog and it was chubby in the body just outside the fence line.
It had a long skinny snout, short stubby legs, long tail that stuck out straight from its bottom. It was sort of walking with its front legs and hopping uncoordinated with its back rear legs. I had heard its yapping/yipping noises earlier in the night for a while as it had walked off down the roadway. Now it was walking across the roadway and up into the vacant block opposite. It looked exactly like an animal that I had previously seen on October 28th 2010 and the yaps and yips were almost the same. Barb.