By Tim Binnall
A tantalizing snippet of footage found in the Tasmanian State Archives provides a rare glimpse of a living thylacine from the 1930s. The heretofore unseen video clip was unearthed by researchers Gareth Linnard, Branden Holmes and Mike Williams, who reportedly worked with the State Library and Archive Service to search for materials that may have been lost to the proverbial sands of time.
Their project proved to be a success as the group managed to find some silent black and white footage which was filmed at the now-shuttered Beaumaris zoo in the city of Hobart. Although the material was only 69 seconds in length, seven of those seconds feature the famed Tasmanian Tiger. The exact date that the scene was filmed is unknown, but the researchers estimate that it was probably sometime between 1933 and 1936.
In a testament to just how significant the find is, the seven seconds of footage constitute just the eighth such film of the creature known to exist today. This is, of course, made all the more remarkable by the fact that mainstream scientists believe that the thylacine went extinct sometime shortly after Benjamin, the last living specimen in captivity and likely the creature seen in the footage above, had passed away in 1936.