Written by Fiona Ozenich
Thylacine. An abstract word that not many people know the meaning of. Is it an ingredient in some fancy facewash? Does it have something to do with my anatomy class?
Nope and nope.
The thylacine, or the Tasmanian tiger, was a carnivorous marsupial, native to Australia. Measured to be anywhere from 39 to 51 inches long, tail included, it was the largest, modern marsupial to walk Australia. And unfortunately, thylacines met their end in 1936 when one Tasmanian tiger named Benjamin passed at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania, Australia.
Due to the extinction of this animal, no one alive today will ever see it in-person again. But there is some good news to this story — the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) released a newly colorized video, with Benjamin the Thylacine as the star.
The original video of the thylacine was about three minutes in length and shot in black and white in 1933, three years prior to Benjamin’s death in 1936. The NFSA teamed up with France-based film producer, Samuel François-Steininger, to finally restore segments of this film. François-Steininger along with his team spent hours of researching museum-owned pelts, artwork, and historical documents to recreate the likeness of the Tasmanian tiger.
François-Steininger and his team’s efforts did not go unnoticed. Thousands of people have liked, retweeted, and shared this film. The internet has had an exceptional and emotional reaction; many are understandably upset by the chronic destruction happening to animals and their natural habitats.
Thankfully this film has shown thousands the result of our destructive behaviors and will hopefully inspire many to get involved in animal conservation. Now that you know the story, will you?
Learn more about the thylacine here: