New Guinea Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) Sighting Reports

Reports from other countries can be accessed here.



According to Rex Gilroy, but no source is given:

"New Guinea began receiving attention from European explorers and naturalists from the 1870s onwards. In 1875 one lieutenant Robert H. Armit, R.N. [retired], who had been involved in an attempt to establish a colony on the island’s north-east coast, was also involved in natural history researches. Among the many insects, spiders, birds, reptiles and marsupials described by him, was a striped-bodied animal, which today we would call a Thylacine." (p. 15)

Source: Gilroy, Rex. (2022). The thylacine – its fossil history. Mysterious Australia Newsletter 2022(June): 12-17.



Related by Karl Shuker in a blog post (he notes: "their seemingly unstriped form, which may well have been a trick of the moonlight"):

"Moreover, in 2003 veteran Irian Jaya explorer Ralf Kiesel confirmed to me that since 1995 there have been persistent rumours of thylacines existing in at least two sections of Irian Jaya's Baliem Valley - the Yali area in the valley's northeast region, and the NP Carstenz in its southwest. The latter area is of particular significance because back in the early 1970s Jan Sarakang, a Papuan friend of Kiesel, had a most startling experience while working with a colleague in the mountains just west of NP Carstenz.

They had built a camp for some geologists near Puncac Jaya at an altitude of roughly 1.5 miles and were sitting by their tents that evening, eating their meal, when two unfamiliar dog-like animals emerged from the bush. One was an adult, the other a cub, and both appeared pale in colour, but most striking of all was their stiff, inflexible tails, and the incredible gape of their jaws when they yawned spasmodically. Clearly drawn by the smell of the food, the two animals walked nervously from side to side, eyeing the men and their food supplies, and approaching to within 20 yards. Eventually the cub became bold enough to walk up to the men, who tried to feed it, but when one of them also tried to catch it, the cub bit his hand and both animals then ran back into the bush and were not seen again."



NG.1993.xx.xx #1

"In 1993, a WWF field researcher found dog-like paw prints, resembling a thylacine, above the snowline in the Jayawijaya range."

Source: Walters, Patrick. (1997). Irian Jayans spy 'Tassie Tiger'. The Australian, 20 August, p. 9.


NG.1993.xx.xx #2

Col Bailey writing about a reported sighting passed on to him:

"A friend in the USA wrote to tell me of another thylacine sighting in West Papua by a Dutch couple, tourists who visited the Indonesian-controlled territory in 1993. From the capital Jayapura they flew to the Baliem Valley, and it was while staying in a cabin in the mountains that the woman encountered an animal she later described as a Tasmanian tiger.

Coming face to face with the animal, she at first thought it was a dog and offered it a friendly word, at which the animal turned and growled menacingly at her before moving away. She vividly described a hyena-like creature with a large head, small ears and stripes along its body. When she related the encounter to the rest of the party, a local within earshot uttered the word 'devil', suggesting the animal had a forbidding reputation among the native population.

On her flight back to Indonesia, she found a copy of the in-flight magazine Garuda, which to her surprise contained a story about the Tasmanian tiger complete with a photo of the last known thylacine in the Hobart Zoo. The story revealed that a scientific party was soon to visit West Papua in search of the thylacine." (p. 29)

Source: Bailey, Col. (2016). Lure of the Thylacine: True Stories and Legendary Tales of the Tasmanian Tiger. Echo Publishing. 227 pp. [p. 29]



"In March 1997, a supposed Thylacine attacked villagers' livestock in the Jayawijaya District of Irian Jaya."




"the slopes of Mount Cartenz, where locals say they saw several Tasmanian tigers, or thylacines, foraging for food at night."

Source: Williams, Louise. (1997). Tassie tiger sighting claim in Irian Jaya. The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 April.



"Having just returned from a trek of the Kokoda track, the treking company director subtely announced that on a recent visit to the top of Mt Victoria to open up a new trek, they had indeed seen & photographed a living Tassie Tiger, well..... a PNG Tiger anyway."



"I investigated this further, thanks to Stupot for the contact details.
I spoke to the guide he said that he seen one on Mt Victoria. He described it to me: A creature that looked like a cross between a cat and a dog. It was spotted. Its height was below the knee.

Unfortunately sounds like a species of quoll rather than a Thylacine."




"A recent article in the Indonesia Observer tells of a thylacine sighting close to the Papua New Guinea border in the Kurima, Oksibil and Okibab Highland area of West Papua. As missionaries are usually the only westerners to enter these wild areas, they may have the best chance of solving the thylacine mystery." (p. 31)

Source: Bailey, Col. (2016). Lure of the Thylacine: True Stories and Legendary Tales of the Tasmanian Tiger. Echo Publishing. 227 pp. [p. 31]


NG.201X.xx.xx #1

The following is a transcript of the caller Graham (Bruny Island), who rang into the ABC Radio Hobart, during the Evenings program presented by Paul McIntyre, recorded and broadcast on Tuesday, 10 September, 2019. Thylacine researcher Gareth Linnard was being interviewed at the time of the call as part of the anniversary of the death of the last known thylacine (Beaumaris Zoo, Queen's Domain location):

"Hi Paul, Hi Gareth. I was living in Bali for a while, only a couple of years ago. And we had some school teachers from Irian Jaya come to stay with us ah for a conference. And I show, showed them a photo of a thylacine because I'd heard about tigers being in ah New Guinea. And I said to them "have you ever seen any of these animals where you live". And they said "ah yes one of the villages nearby killed two puppies because they were eating the, their chickens". Yeah this was only about two or three years ago.

[question from Paul McIntyre about vocalisations]

No they didn't say what they sounded like, I mean they were puppies so I just presume(d?) that maybe they saw them and they were dead."


The following link is to the original source which is now unavailable: [audio being roughly 40:00 into the recording]

The following link contains the entire interview with Gareth, kindly uploaded by thylacine researcher Mike Williams. The relevant audio starts at 5:13:


NG.201X.xx.xx #2-4

A Facebook comment by Edgar Padilla:

"A colleague and friend from the island of Guam just recently traveled to manokwari in west Papúa for a seminar with his church and spoke with a man who does guided hikes into the Arfak mountains. He has seen thylacine 3 times in the past 10 years and as recently as 2019 he says 100% they’re out there but becoming more and more rare."



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