Group uses ploy: “I don’t know, therefore, Thylacine”

Another terrible example of evidence of the existence of the Tasmanian Tiger is in the news. The The Thylacine Awareness Group sets up cameras where people report strange animals. The results they get are less than convincing but they promote these to the media as possible thylacines because they so very much wish it was true. The media takes their stories more seriously than they should given the context and the quality.

Thylacines (or Tasmanian tigers) are marsupials native to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea that filled the role of top predator. The last known thylacine died in 1936 and none were captured in the wild after 1933. After decades of no reliable accounts of its existence, it was declared extinct by wildlife groups and the Tasmanian government in the 1980s. Many people insist it still is out there and see possibilities everywhere, without providing solid evidence for it, just stories and terrible visuals.

This latest photo is said to have been taken near Perth.

The camera captured an image of a creature with an unusually long tail that group founder Neil Waters said could well be a sub-species of Tasmanian tiger.

A sub-species? There is no rational justification for that when this could be a dog or a rough looking example of another known species. Back in September, the same group touted a video they said was a thylacine. Again, circumstances suggest it almost certainly wasn’t (it was probably a fox) but the quality was so bad, you could hardly tell what it was. “I don’t know, therefore, thylacine” is an unreasonable conclusion. In other words, “when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras” – the most common explanation is far more likely to be correct. The Thylacine Awareness Group fails to thoroughly examine their evidence as that of more common animals, instead promoting an extreme possibility highly unlikely to be true. You simply can’t wish it back to life.

If you are making an extraordinary claim – that something declared extinct and not seen for decades is still around – you must do better than grainy, awful visuals, as your best evidence or face derision from the public and websites like ours. Their other videos on their youtube channel are just as awful. The animals in them could be anything, the creatures are out of frame too quickly to make any conclusions. This is not nearly good enough to state these are even possible thylacines. They have made an inadequate basis for further research into its existence even though they continue to call for recognition and protection of the animal! There is very slim plausibility that the thylacine still exists. Efforts and money spent looking for it are rather foolish. We only have ourselves to blame.
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