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‘New’ footage of extinct Tasmanian Tiger found

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Footage has been released of what is thought to be the last images of the now-extinct Tasmanian tiger.

The 21-second film was released by the National Film And Sound Archive Of Australia and is part of a forgotten travelogue Tasmania The Wonderland, made in 1935.

It shows a tiger named Benjamin pacing around his enclosure at Beaumaris Zoo in the Tasmanian city of Hobart.

The NFSA said the film was probably made by Brisbane-based Sidney Cook, although there are no end credits.

The date was confirmed by other events in the travelogue – the annual Regatta Day on the Derwent River and the presence of a goods steamer – Tacoma Star – which docked in Hobart in March 1935.

Benjamin was the last known surviving thylacine in captivity, as London Zoo’s specimen died in 1931.

There are fewer than a dozen films of the elusive predator, all recorded at either London Zoo or the now defunct Beaumaris Zoo.

Previously, it was thought that footage of Benjamin from December 1933 was the most recent.

There is no known footage of a Tasmanian tiger in the wild or any footage that reveals the sound made by the animal.

While the NFSA holds preservation film copies of much of the known surviving footage of the thylacine, the search continues. Remaining to be uncovered are footage of a thylacine in colour, roaming in the wild or – most hopefully – film with location sound that reveals any sound made by the animal.

As thylacines were exhibited in zoos elsewhere in Australia (Launceston, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide) and internationally (Washington, New York, London, Antwerp and Berlin) after the arrival of film, we remain optimistic that further footage may well surface in other collections.

 

Read more via Sky News/ National Film And Sound Archive Of Australia

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