The search for the Tasmanian Tiger

in the Northern Territory

Presenter: Trevor Jackson

Thursday, 16 October  2003 


If you were looking for the Tasmanian Tiger, where would you begin your search? Although the logical place may seem to be Tasmania, it appears the lonesome Thylacine may be more common than anyone ever realised.

Since 1936 there has been over 5000 sightings of the Tasmanian Tiger - on the mainland.

The sightings come from as far away as the Northern Territory.

Dale Bennett claims to have spotted a Tassie Tiger. He lives in the N.T. and recently spoke with afternoon presenter, Trevor Jackson.

Dale and a mate were on a camping trip when they saw an animal which looked exactly like a thylacine.

"We saw this animal on the side of the road and slowed down thinking it was just going to be a dingo.we looked at it and we looked at each other and thought - that's no dingo. It didn't look like a mongrel camp dog either," Dale told Trevor.

The initial reaction from people when Dale and his friend told them what they'd seen was one of scepticism. In the end Dale decided to shrug off his sighting, but after reading an article in his local paper about other people claiming to have seen the same thing he decided he wasn't going mad after all.

"You don't expect to see one in Tasmania let alone the Northern Territory," Dale said.

Dale told Trevor he could see the stripes on its back and was certain it wasn't a dingo.

Dorothy Williams is with the Australian Rare Fauna Research Association and is always interested in hearing about any claims of a thylacine sighting.

Trevor was curious to know how Dorothy went about sorting out the fair dinkum calls from the crank calls.

"There are very few calls that could be categorised as crank calls and nutters," Dorothy said, adding the majority of people truly believe they have seen a Tasmanian Tiger.

As to the people who claim to have seen a Tassie Tiger, they come from all types of backgrounds.

"We have reports from policemen, park rangers and politicians".

When it comes to investigating the sightings, Dorothy said it's very rare to find any evidence, although there have been paw prints in the past, which have only deepened the mystery further.