07 September 2006

Death in Captivity

From a death in the wild to a death in captivity as we mark, today, the 70th anniversary of the death of one of the most enigmatic animals to have ever gone extinct -- if, indeed, it is.

The thylacine (illustrated), known colloquially as the Tasmanian Tiger, is both thought to be extinct -- the last known animal dying in a zoo this day in 1936; and alive, in hiding, protected by a conspiracy by naturalists who want to keep its existence a secret (to protect the animal).

It is true that extinction is the rule, rather than the exception, with animals, plants, fungi, etc. (It is said that more animals and plants have gone extinct than currently live.) Still, it is hard to not be intrigued by this gorgeous marsupial that is something like a dog.

Of course, I do hope this beautiful mammal does still survive and is being protected by a veil of silence. I can just imagine what fate would befall it if it really was alive and the media got wind of it. Sigh! Why is it so hard for humans to just leave well enough alone?

More about thylacines will be found
here and here.

Thanks to
Kris in Australia who wrote about this on her web log.

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