A rare footage showing an enigmatic Tasmanian tiger or the thylacine has recently been released online. The 21-second video, released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, shows some very precious images with the last-known individual of this species.
The rare scene has been captured on camera back in 1935 by the filmmaker Sidney Cook, as part of a travelogue called Tasmania the Wonderland. The black-and-white video “has been digitised in 4K” and released on Twitter by the NFSA on Tuesday. It shows the last thylacine – a male named Benjamin, while moving around his cage at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania. Shortly after that moment, the animal passed away from natural causes, according to archives.
We have released 21-second newsreel clip featuring the last known images of the extinct Thylacine, filmed in 1935, has been digitised in 4K and released.
— NFSA -National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (@NFSAonline) May 19, 2020
The Tasmanian tiger was one of the most ferocious predators that ever roamed Australia. The massive marsupials went extinct in the early 1900 with the last individual spotted in the wild in 1933. An adult could reach up to 70lbs.
As far as known, the short film is the last scene of a thylacine. “While the NFSA holds preservation film copies of much of the known surviving footage of the thylacine, the search continues,” a press release from the archive reads. “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.”