Before we begin delving deeper into the yarn it’s important to establish what the bare-bones facts are:
- Anecdotal evidence from people in Far North Queensland claims there are Tasmanian Tigers alive and well in the region.
- Researchers from James Cook University are taking the claims so seriously that they’re setting camera traps in the hopes of spotting one.
- As part of this, they’re considering using badget odour as bait.
Thylacines. Far North Queensland. The smell of a badger.
JCU researchers have been involved in a thylacine survey up in Cape York, looking into a spate of historical sightings of the extremely extinct critters in the region.
Most scientific wisdom asserts with almost 100% certainty that the animals were extinct across the entire Australian mainland well before European settlers arrived in the region. The animal was officially declared extinct in 1936.
Despite that, sporadic sightings continue to be reported and, quite curiously, a cluster of them have been focused in the Cape York Peninsula region.
So, despite the fact that a University of California mathematician put the odds of actually finding a live Tasmanian Tiger in the wild at around 1 in 1.6 TRILLION, a team of researchers is casting a wide net on the extreme off chance of spotting one.
Speaking to ABC News, JCU project leader Dr. Sandra Abell stated that, while she remains extremely skeptical, there is always some shred of hope. And they’re embracing some unusual methods to get the job done.
“My motto is, if they’re there, we’ll find them. I’m probably the biggest sceptic amongst everyone, but of course I want it to be true.”
“There’s all sorts of weird and wonderful baits you can use … weird things like badger odour.”
The project theorises that it’s far more likely they’ll find evidence of dingoes, wild dogs, or foxes, rather than an extremely dead Tasmanian dog.
But still, stranger things have happened.
Maybe they’ll accidentally snare a yowie while they’re at it. Now that will really ruffle some feathers.
Source: ABC News.
Photo: John Carnemolla/Getty.