Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thylacine: hope is, alas, not evidence

We supposedly wiped out the world's largest marsupial predator (well, largest known: I still wonder about the beast aborigines called the yarri) in 1936. I think it's hard fact a few survived that date: an expedition in 1945 collected fresh tracks and scat. There's a good reason I put it on the dover of my first book.   A trickle of sightings on Tasmania, the Australian mainland and New Guinea have continued ever since, and I thought for a long time we were going to find the animal.  I gave up, I think, around 2010....  Dr. Karl Shuker collected many reports in his most recent book, although some were collected by Rex Gilroy, a cryptozoologist/ufologist whose reliability has been questioned.  There are serious amateur groups trying to find the animal, but the evidence, while widespread, does not much impress Sharon Hill, and I'm afraid to admit it doesn't impress me either: even an optimistic reading indicates it is weak.  Unfortunately, humans are WAY too good at exterminating things. 

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