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Not five hours after landing in Tasmania, I was face to face with a thing called a thylacine. This notorious marsupial, commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger, and technically as Thylacinus cynocephalus (“Dog-headed pouch dog”) was once unique to Australia’s offshore state. Now it’s supposedly extinct, though you’ll get a different opinion on that from every one of the island’s half a million citizens.
Surviving black-and-white video footage of the Tassie tiger makes recognising one straightforward enough. I would describe it as part dog, part hyena: a loping, ginger-furred carnivore with a wide yawn, long tail and dark stripes down its back.