12 Julio 2017 09:09
The video has ignited fierce debate among those who believe that this is indeed a thylacinus, and those who say it’s an injured dog
On 30 June, Paul Dayn, a 52-year-old teacher from South Australia, was in the Moonta area (on the Yorke Peninsula) searching for the perfect spot to shoot the sunrise when, in the distance, an animal crossed in front of his camera lens.
For a few seconds, the footage shows a four-legged animal seemingly trotting along by hopping on its hind legs, a movement distinctive of the Tasmanian tiger. Officially, the last Tasmanian tiger, a specimen called Benjamin, died in 1936 at Horbart's Beaumaris's zoo.
Since that day, the species has been considered extinct. Alleged sightings of these animals, however, both on the island of Tasmania and continental Australia (where experts believe the species hasn’t existed for 2000 years) have nonetheless continued.
Mr. Day decided to share his experience on YouTube. In just 6 days the video has been viewed 211,000 times and has sparked a fierce debate between the ‘I want to believe’ camp,
and the aggravated.
Even Day himself had his doubts. ‘I was chasing the fog because I thought it would make a good photo. I finally found a good spot and set up the camera when I saw something out of the corner of my eye,’ he told News Australia. ‘At first I thought it was a fox crossing in front of the sun, then I thought that it might have been a dog. It wasn’t until I saw footage of another thylacine sighting on Facebook that it dawned on me. I thought to myself, “If that’s not a thylacine I’ll eat my hat”.’
One of the people most convinced by the authenticity of Day’s footage is Neil Waters, founder of the group, Thylacine Awareness. While admitting that his heart skipped a beat when he saw the video, he did warn of the need to be cautious with these kinds of images.
As soon as Waters saw Day’s video, he rushed to the Yorke Peninsula to meet him. Waters believes this is the best evidence to date that the Tasmanian tiger is not extinct.
Like the YouTube comments, the experts’ opinions on Day’s film could not be more divided. For Kristofer Helgen, a zoologist at the University of Adelaide, ‘the image leaves a lot to be desired’ and the creature looks more like ‘a fox that is probably lame or injured.’