March 26, 2005

Thylacine bounty madness!

Channel-surfing in a motel recently, I found an Animal Planet show on the possible survival of the thylacine, or "Tasmanian tiger," a marsupial predator whose last example supposedly died in a Tasmanian zoo in the 1930s.

The show was all pointless animated graphics, shots of attractive people dashing around SE Australia in a Jeep, and other people with with electric auras surrounding their heads--a high ratio of razzle-dazzle to actual information, but it did make this point: stockmen and others keep seeing what look like the thylacine or finding animals killed by a big predator. And other than feral dogs, it's the only possibility for Australia.

Now the Australian media are getting into the quest, with publications offering bounties.

The Bulletin magazine has offered a $1.25m reward, to celebrate the publication’s 125th anniversary.

However a report in the Mercury newspaper said another offer has topped it.

“We’ve been gazumped by the Bulletin so we’re going with (our $1.75m reward) now,” Stewart Malcolm of Thylacine Expeditions told the Mercury.

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