Rare video footage of the last known Tasmanian tiger or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), has been released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NSFA).
The footage was captured in 1935, and the tiger, named Benjamin, died from exposure the following year on 7 September. According to New Scientist, the footage was part of a travelogue called Tasmania the Wonderland and was shot by Sidney Cook, a filmmaker from Brisbane.
Captured at Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, the video shows Benjamin pacing around in his enclosure.
Take a look:
We have released 21-second newsreel clip featuring the last known images of the extinct Thylacine, filmed in 1935, has been digitised in 4K and released.
— NFSA -National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (@NFSAonline) May 19, 2020
According to a press release by the NFSA, this footage is extremely rare.
‘Fewer than a dozen source films, amounting to little more than three minutes of silent, black-and-white footage, of the elusive thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) are known to survive. All derive from thylacines held in captivity and photographed in only two locations – Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart and London Zoo. Now, unseen publicly for 85 years, a further precious 21 seconds is being released by the NFSA,’ they said.
They add that the footage of Benjamin was captured ‘more than 12 months after the previous last-confirmed date of thylacine footage, photographed in December 1933’.
Image Credit: Screenshot from video