Monday, 30 July 2012

Thylacine Sighting Report Meunna Rd, Preolenna, by Joan H. in 1978

Sighting Made in 1978 at 3:00 PM by Joan H.

I had lived in Melbourne for most of my life; I had married a dairy farmer in 1974. I lived in Preolenna on the North West Coast of Tasmania, 27km from nearest town Wynyard. I was coming home from visiting a friend at Meunna to Preolenna at 3pm. The rain had stopped as I travelled along Meunna road. It was a narrow road with bush on either side. An animal came out of the bush on my right hand side. I knew it wasn't a dog, firstly because it lopped across in front of me instead of how a dog runs.   Its tail wasn't bent it was straight' It had very distinctive stripes across it's back and looked to me like a young dingo type dog. It wasn't afraid of the car it just looked ahead to the other side of the road where it was heading. I thought to myself "that must be the animal that was eating my friends hens. (I found out later that that was the Tiger Cat). All my growing up years in Melbourne I had never heard of the Tasmanian tiger. That night when my husband came in from the dairy, I just mentioned that I had seen the animal that ate the chickens. In our conversation my husband realized that I had seen a Tasmanian tiger. I rang the Ranger in Smithton and told him what I had seen, He confirmed what I had seen and told me not to mention it as there had been many sightings and they were on the move. He wanted to protect them. I did mention it to a farmer in Meunna and he said that a lady from Preolenna had also seen one ten years prior in the same spot. I know what I saw so very clearly.  It was a lovely young animal. So no one could ever tell me that they don't exist.. If I had have known at the time that it was the Tasmanian Tiger I could have easily protected it's foot prints, however when I related the animal to R. it was four hours later and we had heaps more rain. I guess over the years I haven't told many people as I am sure they wouldn't believe me. When given the chance I will always defend their existence. 

Fig. 1. Meunna Rd, Preolenna in Northern Tasmania.

The size of the Tiger was that of dingo, however it looked a young animal. Same shaped face side on as a dingo. The Tiger didn't look directly at the car just straight ahead the noise of the car didn't bother it at all. The Tiger was brown fairly light brown face and it had distinct dark stripes through its body.  The animal was a little over a metre away for 7 to 10 seconds before the tiger crossed the road into the bush.   I was surprised that the Tiger didn't appear to be a shy or a frightened animal considering that it was so close to a moving car.

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