By Tim Binnall
A Tasmanian Tiger researcher has sparked something of a frenzy in the cryptozoological world with the bold claim that he has procured a photograph which will confirm that the said-to-be-extinct thylacine actually still roams the Earth. The shocking assertion was made by Neil Waters of the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia in a YouTube video posted earlier today and provocatively titled 'We Found a Thylacine.' In the hastily filmed dispatch, he muses that "I've probably been acting a bit weird" for the last few days and then makes a rather jaw-dropping revelation.
According to Waters, he had been checking the memory cards of game cameras that the group had placed in the wilderness of Tasmania in the hopes of spotting a thylacine and, in the process, he discovered "some photos that were pretty damn good." The researcher goes on to declare "I know what they are and so do a few independent expert witnesses" who have seen the pictures. Waters also indicates that the images have been sent to wildlife expert Nick Mooney, who is considered the preeminent analyst of alleged thylacine evidence.
As for what the photos show, Waters says that there are three animals, which he believes are a mother, father, and juvenile Tasmanian Tiger. Although he concedes that the nature of the two adult creatures is somewhat hard to decipher, he confidently states with a smile that "the baby is not ambiguous. The baby has stripes, a stiff tail, the hock, the coarse hair, it's the right color, it's a quadruped, it's stocky, and it's got the right shaped ears."
He argues that the photo is not only proof of the Tasmanian Tiger still being alive, but also that there is a breeding population of the creature in Tasmania. Waters explained that his group is awaiting a proverbial verdict from Mooney, who is currently looking over the photos, but he expressed the hope that the expert will confirm his strongly held convictions that the creatures in the photo are thylacines. Should that be the case, Waters said, the animal would be reclassified as "endangered" rather than "extinct."
Fortunately, it would appear that we will not have to wait too long to see these tantalizing photos as Waters and the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia plan to release them to the public on March 1st. As one might imagine, Waters' video sent shockwaves throughout the cryptozoological community when it was posted on Monday as he seems quite positive that the images are the proverbial 'holy grail' of Tasmanian Tiger evidence. That said, as any longtime student of the strange and unusual knows, one would be wise to temper their expectations as history is replete with similar blockbuster claims that, far more often than not, wind up failing to live up to their promise.