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On this day …….. 10th of July 1936

The Thylacine was a dasyurid, or carnivorous marsupial, living in Australia up until the twentieth century. It is believed that the Thylacine existed on the Australian mainland until the introduction of the dingo thousands of years ago. Although the Thylacine was often called the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, it was neither of these. Its body was similar in shape to that of the placental wolf, but it was a marsupial, putting it in an entirely different class. It stood 58-60cm tall, with a body and tail length of up to 180cm. When Europeans settled in Tasmania, the Thylacine’s fate was sealed. Farmers shot the creatures, fearing them as a threat to livestock, while hunters prized them as trophies; these acts were supported by the government of the time which offered a bounty of one pound for every dead adult Thylacine and ten shillings for each dead Thylacine joey. This bounty system, introduced in 1830, was not terminated until 1909. By this time, the Thylacine was very rare, and being sought for zoos worldwide. Australian authorities were slow to protect native wildlife, with the result that many species became extinct or on the verge of extinction. In a last attempt to protect the remaining specimens, Tasmania named the Thylacine a protected animal. On the 10th of July 1936, the governor of Tasmania, Sir Ernest Clark, announced that “… in exercise of the powers and authority conferred upon me by the Animals and Birds’ Protection Act, 1928, do, by this proclamation, transfer Native Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) from Schedule 3, Part 1, to Schedule 2, Part 1, of that Act …”. The last known specimen of the Thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo in September that same year. The last captive animals were exhibited in zoos, where their needs were not understood, and the Thylacines in Hobart died from exposure. Despite numerous apparent “sightings” over the years, not one of these has ever been confirmed, and in 1986, the Thylacine was officially classified as Extinct.

 

Certainly per European history shows Tasmanian Tigers-Zebra Wolfs (Thylacine) roamed large parts of main land Australia. There is plenty of evidence in fossil remains and Aboriginal cave art. But is it possible they still lived in Victoria as little as 100 years ago. Interesting idea when the last known Thylacine died at the Hobart Zoo on the 7th of September 1936, and Thylacine’s were declared extinct by international standards in 1986. However there are many accounts of wolf-lions-tiger like animals killing live stock through Gippsland, North East and central Victoria and as far as Tantanoola in South Australia. Below is an account of animal killed by a farmer on the 29th June 1916 at Mirboo North, South Gippsland, Victoria.

The sheep-killing animal that was found poisoned in Mr J. Gilfedder’s paddock, close to the Mirboo North township, Victoria recently, does not appear to be either a dingo or a fox. It was two or three times as large as either of those animals. It had the legs, paws and nails of a dog, and the snout and tail of a fox or a dingo. Its mode of killing sheep was to worry their rumps and pull away some of the entrails. Residents who saw-it say that it was a cross between a dingo or a fox and a dog. To ascertain if possible what the animal was, Mr. Gilfedder intends sending the skull, claws and tail to the Director of the Melbourne Zoo, who is recognised as an authority on animals. Some people at Yinnar who had sheep destroyed in the way described poisoned the carcases; but the animal would not take the bait. A successful way to destroy any other of such breed as turn up among sheep is to skin rabbits and put them in a fire, and thus destroy the smell of the hands, and use one as a trail, and cut others, and lay the baits along the trail, without touching them with the hands. This was the method Mr Gilfedder used. Since the death of the animal we have not heard of any sheep being worried around the district. Mr Gilfedder received the following letter from Mr D. Gibson, of the National Bank, Maffra: – “Dear Sir, – I saw in the paper some few days ago that you had poisoned an animal, somewhat like a dingo, but larger, that had been destroying your sheep. I enclose a rough sketch of the Tasmanian zebra wolf, in the hope that it may enable you to identify it with that animal. I and others have seen them up in the mountains; but the fact of their being indigenous to Victoria has never been established by their capture. Probably they are the animal vaguely called the ‘Tantanoola tiger’ and the ‘Morwell lion,’ which has been seen in so many localities. The zebra wolf is a marsupial, coloured from French-grey to russet brown, according to the season, and striped with dark brown to black on back and tail, and less conspicuously on the legs. The coat is short and close, build very strong, pads especially large for its size, powerful hindquarters, progresses either at a trot or by long bounds, height at shoulder 2ft. 6in. to 3ft. I have seen one in captivity which stood on its hind legs over 5ft. high. They are night prowlers, and carry their young in a pouch. They use hollow logs, etc., to camp in, and cover long distances, rarely coming out in the daylight. This is the reason why they have escaped capture so long. The skin or cleaned skeleton would be eagerly purchased by either Melbourne Zoo (D. Le Soeuf), or the National Gallery Museum. Probably they would fetch £20 or so; so they are worth saving.”

ON THIS DAY…… 14th November 1939

The world’s oldest dog on record dies – Blue Heeler named ‘Bluey – aged 29

The Blue Heeler is a hardy breed of dog developed in Australia. Also known as the Australian Cattle dog, the Blue Heeler was developed by colonists in the 1800s by crossing Dingo-blue merle Collies to Dalmatians and black and tan Kelpies. This produced an excellent working dog, capable of driving large herds of cattle through the harsh conditions of the outback. According to Guinness World Records, the world’s oldest known dog was a Blue Heeler, appropriately named “Bluey”, owned by Les Hall of Rochester in the Australian state of Victoria. Born on 7 June 1910, Bluey died on 14 November 1939 at the age of twenty-nine years, five months, and seven days.

On this day …….. 10th of July 1936

The Thylacine was a dasyurid, or carnivorous marsupial, living in Australia up until the twentieth century. It is believed that the Thylacine existed on the Australian mainland until the introduction of the dingo thousands of years ago. Although the Thylacine was often called the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, it was neither of these. Its body was similar in shape to that of the placental wolf, but it was a marsupial, putting it in an entirely different class. It stood 58-60cm tall, with a body and tail length of up to 180cm. When Europeans settled in Tasmania, the Thylacine’s fate was sealed. Farmers shot the creatures, fearing them as a threat to livestock, while hunters prized them as trophies; these acts were supported by the government of the time which offered a bounty of one pound for every dead adult Thylacine and ten shillings for each dead Thylacine joey. This bounty system, introduced in 1830, was not terminated until 1909. By this time, the Thylacine was very rare, and being sought for zoos worldwide. Australian authorities were slow to protect native wildlife, with the result that many species became extinct or on the verge of extinction. In a last attempt to protect the remaining specimens, Tasmania named the Thylacine a protected animal. On the 10th of July 1936, the governor of Tasmania, Sir Ernest Clark, announced that “… in exercise of the powers and authority conferred upon me by the Animals and Birds’ Protection Act, 1928, do, by this proclamation, transfer Native Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) from Schedule 3, Part 1, to Schedule 2, Part 1, of that Act …”. The last known specimen of the Thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo in September that same year. The last captive animals were exhibited in zoos, where their needs were not understood, and the Thylacines in Hobart died from exposure. Despite numerous apparent “sightings” over the years, not one of these has ever been confirmed, and in 1986, the Thylacine was officially classified as Extinct.

 

Certainly per European history shows Tasmanian Tigers-Zebra Wolfs (Thylacine) roamed large parts of main land Australia. There is plenty of evidence in fossil remains and Aboriginal cave art. But is it possible they still lived in Victoria as little as 100 years ago. Interesting idea when the last known Thylacine died at the Hobart Zoo on the 7th of September 1936, and Thylacine’s were declared extinct by international standards in 1986. However there are many accounts of wolf-lions-tiger like animals killing live stock through Gippsland, North East and central Victoria and as far as Tantanoola in South Australia. Below is an account of animal killed by a farmer on the 29th June 1916 at Mirboo North, South Gippsland, Victoria.

The sheep-killing animal that was found poisoned in Mr J. Gilfedder’s paddock, close to the Mirboo North township, Victoria recently, does not appear to be either a dingo or a fox. It was two or three times as large as either of those animals. It had the legs, paws and nails of a dog, and the snout and tail of a fox or a dingo. Its mode of killing sheep was to worry their rumps and pull away some of the entrails. Residents who saw-it say that it was a cross between a dingo or a fox and a dog. To ascertain if possible what the animal was, Mr. Gilfedder intends sending the skull, claws and tail to the Director of the Melbourne Zoo, who is recognised as an authority on animals. Some people at Yinnar who had sheep destroyed in the way described poisoned the carcases; but the animal would not take the bait. A successful way to destroy any other of such breed as turn up among sheep is to skin rabbits and put them in a fire, and thus destroy the smell of the hands, and use one as a trail, and cut others, and lay the baits along the trail, without touching them with the hands. This was the method Mr Gilfedder used. Since the death of the animal we have not heard of any sheep being worried around the district. Mr Gilfedder received the following letter from Mr D. Gibson, of the National Bank, Maffra: – “Dear Sir, – I saw in the paper some few days ago that you had poisoned an animal, somewhat like a dingo, but larger, that had been destroying your sheep. I enclose a rough sketch of the Tasmanian zebra wolf, in the hope that it may enable you to identify it with that animal. I and others have seen them up in the mountains; but the fact of their being indigenous to Victoria has never been established by their capture. Probably they are the animal vaguely called the ‘Tantanoola tiger’ and the ‘Morwell lion,’ which has been seen in so many localities. The zebra wolf is a marsupial, coloured from French-grey to russet brown, according to the season, and striped with dark brown to black on back and tail, and less conspicuously on the legs. The coat is short and close, build very strong, pads especially large for its size, powerful hindquarters, progresses either at a trot or by long bounds, height at shoulder 2ft. 6in. to 3ft. I have seen one in captivity which stood on its hind legs over 5ft. high. They are night prowlers, and carry their young in a pouch. They use hollow logs, etc., to camp in, and cover long distances, rarely coming out in the daylight. This is the reason why they have escaped capture so long. The skin or cleaned skeleton would be eagerly purchased by either Melbourne Zoo (D. Le Soeuf), or the National Gallery Museum. Probably they would fetch £20 or so; so they are worth saving.”

On this day …….. 13th May 1792

The Tasmanian tiger, known also by its palaeontological nickname of Thylacine, was a carnivorous marsupial of Australia. It was once believed to roam the entire Australian mainland, as well as parts of New Guinea. Its disappearance from the mainland is believed to have been due to increased competition for food which resulted from the introduction of the dingo by the Aborigines. The Thylacine was up to 110cm in length, with a strong, stiff tail that was half the length of its body again. At its shoulder, it stood about 60cm tall. The Thylacine had tawny grey-brown fur, and around 16 black or brown stripes on its back, mainly at the tail end. The first evidence of the existence of such a creature came when Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania, which he named Van Diemen’s Land, in 1642. Upon the shores of the island, one of Tasman’s crewman, F. Jacobszoon, described seeing “footprints not ill-resembling the claws of a tiger”. French exploration provided confirmation of the Tasmanian tiger when French naturalist Jacques-Julien Houtou de Labillardière, who was on Rear Admiral Bruni d’Entrecasteaux’s expedition to “New Holland”, made what is considered to be the first definitive sighting of the Tasmanian tiger, on 13 May 1792. The last known Thylaicne died in the Hobart Zoo on 7 September 1936, a victim of exposure and starvation caused by lack of understanding of the animal’s needs. Since then, there have been numerous sightings of the Thylacine, but none have been confimed.

On this day …….. 23rd April 1913

Harold Gossip of Tyalgum, New South Wales, went to investigate a disturbance amongst his cows at 2am on this morning in 1913 when he saw dingoes attacking one of his herd. It was a moonlit night and Gossip fired at the nearest dingo with his rifle. He was later surprised to find that he had killed three with the same bullet. The first was shot though the neck, second broke his back and third though the chest. The pack had previously killed a valuable cattle dog.

 

On this day ………… 20th February 1981

Michael and Lindy Chamberlain and their three children were camping at Ayers Rock, Northern Territory when baby Azaria disappeared. Lindy claimed that a dingo had stolen her baby. No trace of the child was ever found, although her bloodstained clothes were found a week later by another tourist. Lindy Chamberlain was regarded with deep suspicion by many among the investigating party, and also by a great deal of the media and, subsequently, the Australian public. At the first inquest into her death, on 20 February 1981, coroner Dennis Barritt found that baby Azaria had been taken by a dingo. Police and prosecutors moved for a second inquest which was held in September, 1981. This time, the new finding was made that Azaria had been killed with a pair of scissors and held by a small adult hand until she stopped bleeding. Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder on 29 October 1982. Her acquittal came several years later when a British tourist fell to his death from the Rock. When his body was finally located 8 days later amid an area full of dingo lairs, Azaria Chamberlain’s missing jacket was also found. New evidence was presented showing that the methods of testing previous evidence had been unreliable, and no conviction could be made on those grounds. Lindy was released, and eventually awarded AU$1.3 million in compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

 

ON THIS DAY…… 14th November 1939

The world’s oldest dog on record dies – Blue Heeler named ‘Bluey – aged 29

The Blue Heeler is a hardy breed of dog developed in Australia. Also known as the Australian Cattle dog, the Blue Heeler was developed by colonists in the 1800s by crossing Dingo-blue merle Collies to Dalmatians and black and tan Kelpies. This produced an excellent working dog, capable of driving large herds of cattle through the harsh conditions of the outback. According to Guinness World Records, the world’s oldest known dog was a Blue Heeler, appropriately named “Bluey”, owned by Les Hall of Rochester in the Australian state of Victoria. Born on 7 June 1910, Bluey died on 14 November 1939 at the age of twenty-nine years, five months, and seven days.

On this day …….. 10th of July 1936

The Thylacine was a dasyurid, or carnivorous marsupial, living in Australia up until the twentieth century. It is believed that the Thylacine existed on the Australian mainland until the introduction of the dingo thousands of years ago. Although the Thylacine was often called the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, it was neither of these. Its body was similar in shape to that of the placental wolf, but it was a marsupial, putting it in an entirely different class. It stood 58-60cm tall, with a body and tail length of up to 180cm. When Europeans settled in Tasmania, the Thylacine’s fate was sealed. Farmers shot the creatures, fearing them as a threat to livestock, while hunters prized them as trophies; these acts were supported by the government of the time which offered a bounty of one pound for every dead adult Thylacine and ten shillings for each dead Thylacine joey. This bounty system, introduced in 1830, was not terminated until 1909. By this time, the Thylacine was very rare, and being sought for zoos worldwide. Australian authorities were slow to protect native wildlife, with the result that many species became extinct or on the verge of extinction. In a last attempt to protect the remaining specimens, Tasmania named the Thylacine a protected animal. On the 10th of July 1936, the governor of Tasmania, Sir Ernest Clark, announced that “… in exercise of the powers and authority conferred upon me by the Animals and Birds’ Protection Act, 1928, do, by this proclamation, transfer Native Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) from Schedule 3, Part 1, to Schedule 2, Part 1, of that Act …”. The last known specimen of the Thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo in September that same year. The last captive animals were exhibited in zoos, where their needs were not understood, and the Thylacines in Hobart died from exposure. Despite numerous apparent “sightings” over the years, not one of these has ever been confirmed, and in 1986, the Thylacine was officially classified as Extinct.

 

On this day …….. 13th May 1792

The Tasmanian tiger, known also by its palaeontological nickname of Thylacine, was a carnivorous marsupial of Australia. It was once believed to roam the entire Australian mainland, as well as parts of New Guinea. Its disappearance from the mainland is believed to have been due to increased competition for food which resulted from the introduction of the dingo by the Aborigines. The Thylacine was up to 110cm in length, with a strong, stiff tail that was half the length of its body again. At its shoulder, it stood about 60cm tall. The Thylacine had tawny grey-brown fur, and around 16 black or brown stripes on its back, mainly at the tail end. The first evidence of the existence of such a creature came when Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania, which he named Van Diemen’s Land, in 1642. Upon the shores of the island, one of Tasman’s crewman, F. Jacobszoon, described seeing “footprints not ill-resembling the claws of a tiger”. French exploration provided confirmation of the Tasmanian tiger when French naturalist Jacques-Julien Houtou de Labillardière, who was on Rear Admiral Bruni d’Entrecasteaux’s expedition to “New Holland”, made what is considered to be the first definitive sighting of the Tasmanian tiger, on 13 May 1792. The last known Thylaicne died in the Hobart Zoo on 7 September 1936, a victim of exposure and starvation caused by lack of understanding of the animal’s needs. Since then, there have been numerous sightings of the Thylacine, but none have been confimed.

On this day …….. 23rd April 1913

Harold Gossip of Tyalgum, New South Wales, went to investigate a disturbance amongst his cows at 2am on this morning in 1913 when he saw dingoes attacking one of his herd. It was a moonlit night and Gossip fired at the nearest dingo with his rifle. He was later surprised to find that he had killed three with the same bullet. The first was shot though the neck, second broke his back and third though the chest. The pack had previously killed a valuable cattle dog.