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Australia's Tasmanian Tiger killed by man: Study

Published on Jan 31, 2013 11:39 AM
 
This Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery handout photo received on Jan 31, 2013, shows Tasmanian tigers or Thylacines photographed at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart in Australia's Tasmania state in 1918. Australian researchers investigating the extinction of the country's Tasmanian Tiger put the fault solely with humans on Jan 31, 2013, saying they had debunked the long-held theory disease was to blame. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian researchers investigating the extinction of the country's Tasmanian Tiger put the fault solely with humans on Thursday, saying they had debunked a long-held theory that disease was to blame.

The last known tiger, or thylacine, died in Hobart Zoo in September 1936 and though there have been numerous unconfirmed sightings in the wild over the years since, it was officially declared extinct in 1986.

When European settlers arrived in the southern island state of Tasmania in 1803 the thylacine - a shy, carnivorous marsupial which resembled a long, large dog with a striped coat and wolflike head - was widespread.

Their final extinction has long been linked to a distemper-like disease that tore through the last remaining tigers, but a University of Adelaide team said it had proven that disease was not a central cause.

 
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