Tasmanian tiger sighting has been reported in South Gippsland.
After Venus Bay Caravan Park owner Tony Holgate came across a tiger at the park in December, Barrie Murphy reported a sighting at Inverloch last Wednesday.
The Inverloch resident said he was positive he caught a glimpse of the nocturnal marsupial and added jokingly he had just one glass of wine for the whole night.
“Last Wednesday at about 10.30pm, I was driving along Ullathorne Road when it crossed the road in front of me,” he said.
“First of all, I thought it was a fox or a cat, but as it moved off the bitumen on to the green verge, I realised it was dog sized, about the same as an Alsatian.”
Mr Murphy said as he got closer to the animal, its tail captured his attention.
“It was the long, straight tail, which could have been a metre long. It was straight out, white and strong looking,” he said.
Because he was in his car, Mr Murphy was unable to see the creature’s head, but he did recognise one of the Tasmanian tiger’s most distinctive traits.
“The thing that really made me twig was, as I drove past it, I saw the stripes down its side and onto its flank,” he said.
“I thought to myself, I have seen something exceptional here, so I turned around and went back, but it had disappeared.”
Mr Murphy said in the past, he has heard two accounts of Tasmanian tiger sightings, both from reliable sources.
“After seeing one myself, I thought I would report it so other people can keep a lookout,” he said.
According to the Australian Museum, the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, is a large carnivorous marsupial now believed to be extinct.
It was sandy yellowish-brown to grey in colour and had 15 to 20 distinct dark stripes across its back from the shoulders to tail.
Although the large head was dog or wolf-like, the tail was stiff and the legs were relatively short. Body hair was dense, short and soft.
In recent times the thylacine was confined to Tasmania where its presence has not been established conclusively for more than 70 years, however it became extinct on the Australian mainland not less than 2000 years ago.