“We found a thylacine.”
They’re words that would love to be real for so many of us.
And when we heard them (again) this week, this time in the title of a video posted on YouTube by Neil Waters, president of the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia (TAGOA), we couldn’t help but get a little excited, although against our best instincts.
Mr Waters claimed to have captured footage of not one, but three thylacines in the video posted on Monday, evidence, he said, ‘of breeding.’
Mr Waters admitted the video of the “some little town in north-east Tassie” thylacines was “mum and dad” by addressing a handheld camera as he strolled through “ambiguous”
“However,” he claimed, “the baby is not ambiguous”.
“The baby has stripes, a stiff tail, the hock, the course hair, it’s the right colour, it’s a quadruped, it’s stocky and it’s got the right-shaped ears.
“Congratulations everyone. We’ve done it.”
Mr Waters said he had already shown experts the video of the three creatures, including a vet and “judges” canine and feline.
“I know what they are and so do a few independent expert witnesses,” he said.
He then clarified that, for clarification, he had given the footage to Nick Mooney, the honorary curator of vertebrate zoology at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).
In a statement from TMAG, however, Mr. Mooney denied the identification of the animals as thylacines by Mr. Waters.
“Nick Mooney has concluded that based on the physical characteristics shown in the photos provided by Mr Waters, the animals are very unlikely to be thylacines and are most likely Tasmanian pademelons,” the statement said.
“TMAG regularly receives requests for verification from members of the public who hope that the thylacine is still with us.
“However, sadly there have been no confirmed sightings of the thylacine since 1936.”