In an update to this story, the Center for Fortean Zoology is keeping hope alive to find the Tassie Tiger.
It had been considered extinct for nearly 80 years, but the Tasmanian tiger has been declared alive and kicking by an intrepid group of British naturalists.
A team of investigators from the Centre for Fortean Zoology, which operates from a small farmhouse in north Devon, is currently in Tasmania hunting down clues to prove the thylacine, commonly known as the Tassie tiger, still exists.
The group claims to have gathered compelling evidence of the thylacine’s presence in remote parts of Tasmania’s north-west, despite the last known animal dying in Hobart Zoo on 7 September 1936.
They have eyewitness reports and possible scat and BUCKETS full of faith and wishful thinking. But that isn’t enough to show it’s there. They have nothing concrete so far but do a good job at feeding the press bits of hopeful news.
The leader of the expedition, Richard Freeman, is convinced it’s out there still. The article quotes that he “plans several return trips to prove mainstream science wrong.”
“I’ll be coming back again and again,” he said. “The people who say they’ve seen it have nothing to gain and everything to lose. I’d say there is a population of at least 300 of them.”
But there is NO CURRENT BASIS for his thoughts on this. I am not a fan of the way Freeman approaches such expeditions. To “prove science wrong” tells me he is doing it wrong. Science tells us about the world around us based on evidence. The evidence is not there that the thylacine still exists. Good luck to them as they try to find it but if they do, THEY ARE CONTRIBUTING TO SCIENCE. So to say “proving science wrong” is an absurdity and presents a ridiculous view of cryptozoology to the public.
UPDATE: (15-Nov-2013) They have returned empty handed, more or less, with just additional anecdotes, not much more than was had to begin with. Ever the optimist, though.
After scouring Tasmania’s rugged north-west, a hot spot for the animal according to the team, expedition leader Michael Williams says he is satisfied with the outcome.
“No we don’t have a thylacine in the boot, we don’t have anything on camera of any great interest, but it’s a roaring success because there’s more witnesses than I thought there’d be and there’s more areas of interest in a smaller defined area than I thought there’d be,” he said.
A bit of cognitive dissonance going on? I would not call this a “roaring success” but I tend to hold my evidence bar pretty high. Cryptozoologists – not so much. Their belief sustains them.