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Thylacine Reports: Miscellaneous Islands

NB: Please note that I have taken the liberty of quoting liberally from all sources. This is only to make it easier for the reader to access these reports which would otherwise be spread over many websites and other mediums (e.g. newspaper articles, books, CD's etc.). In all cases I have clearly cited the source.

A very small number of thylacine reports have been made from areas of Australasia that fall outside of the three main landmasses that formerly constituted Sahul (or Greater Australia). As such, specific location data is included in long form (in brackets) in the accession label.

 

CI.1811.xx.xx

An enigmatic report of a pair of animals called "hyenas", similar to colonial names for the thylacine:

"Two animals of the hyena kind were seen at Campbell's Island by hunting parties belonging to the Mary and Sally ;  from the description given of which they appear to have been of the same species with an animal killed at Port Phillip in 1803."

Source: Anonymous. (1811). ["Two animals of the hyena kind..."]. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser,  Sat 30 Nov 1811, p. 2.

 

CBI.1939/40.xx.xx (Cape Barren Island)

A single witness, Mr. H. W. Pentland, saw two animals. The following account is a large quotation from a newspaper article by David Fleay which does not seem to quote Mr. Pentland directly:

"Marsupial Wolf on Cape Barren Island? - Recently an interesting letter arrived from Mr. H. W. Pentland, then at a C.R.B. camp near Gerangamete. The astonishing part of his news lay in the statement that while ecamped at a remote rocky part of Cape Barren Island he had seen two of the extremely rare Tasmanian tigers or marsupial wolves. Though never able to approach closely to these elusive animals, Mr. Pentland often found the remains of their kills. These were always wallabies and their leg-bones were usually well broken up and eaten away. Fogs were frequent in the mountainous region frequented by these mystery animals, but Mr. Pentland's enclosed drawing showed that he had seen enough to sketch his impressions, and they bore a distinct resemblance to illustrations of the Tasmanian wolf. Approximately the size of a dingo, the animals were fawn grey on forequarters and flanks, with rump and hindquarters appearing light yellowish at a distance. Mr. L. Smith, a friend of Mr. Pentland, has spent many months in the wild southwest of Tasmania, carrying provisions by pack horse to mining camps. As a man experienced in the ways an appearance of the marsupial wolf his general description of these remarkable looking animals appeared to tally exactly with what M. Pentland had seen on Cape Barren Island. At the present time the general opinion is that the marsupial wolf, tiger or thylacine is confined to the remote southwest of Tasmania, being extremely rare. No record of its occurrence on any Bass Strait islands has ever been made. Still the matter is possible should the tigers have been liberated there in previous years. It is also interesting to remember that the mammalian fauna of these islands is closely similar to that of Tasmania. Should this note come before the notice of any Bass Strait islander, comments and hearsay on the subject would be most welcome."

Source: Fleay, David. (1940). Marsupial Wolf on Cape Barren Island? (Bush Notes). The Australasian, 23 March, 1940, p. 36.

 

Acknowledgements: This newspaper article was brought to my attention by reading it at Cameron Campbell's excellent Thylacine Museum website.