The History Thread Goes Extinct

Today is a baleful anniversary for animal lovers: the death of Benjamin, the last known Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) in 1933. Once endemic to Tasmania, this carnivorous marsupial was considered a nuisance for feasting on livestock and subject to massive overhunting. The decisive factor, however, may have been a strain of distemper which likely spread to the animals from pets. By the early 20th Century only a handful of individuals survived; despite belated efforts by the Australian government to preserve them, the last wild Thylacine was shot in 1930. Benjamin, who lived in the zoo at Hobart, died three years later, cursing the Thylacine to extinction. Alleged sightings of Thylacines continue to this day, but thus far they can be consigned to the realm of cryptozoology.