Not seen in person, unfortunately, although alleged sightings of the presumed extinct creature continue, not only in the beast’s native Tasmania but also in its once-native-but-that-was-so-long-ago-that-it-doesn’t-count Australia. Cases of misidentification of other animals? Probably, with most of them. Encounters with the *ghosts* of Thylacines? Hey, stranger things have been reported by seemingly credible people who swear to them. Or maybe there really are some living Thylacines still out there? I sure hope so.
Until such time as a living Thylacine is rediscovered, we’ll have to make do with this. Archivists at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NSFA) recently discovered this footage from the 1935 travel documentary (i.e. advertisement) TASMANIA THE WONDERLAND. The refurbished footage shows Benjamin, the last known living Thylacine at that time (and since) in glorious color. You can really appreciate the beauty of the animal. And when he yawns, revealing his ability, unique to his species, to open his jaws almost 180 degrees, it might should be frightening, given the many pointed teefers and the estimated bite power of the Thylacine, but it’s also pretty adorable.
We miss you, Benjamin. We owe you and all your kind an apology. And we hope to see you again, so we can try to make amends.