| Another attack is reported
in the Mercury newspaper of the 4th August 1882 (p. 2):
"A man named Littlejohn
was attacked at Patterson by a native tiger. The animal, which was
almost as large as a retriever dog, flew at his throat. His own dog
seized the tiger by the haunches, and he afterwards succeeded in despatching
The Australian newspaper
of the 1st May 1830 (p. 2) recalls another incident:
"A curious circumstance
happened at Mr. Blackworth's, Jerusalem, the other day. A native
tiger, as it is called, boldly entered his cottage, where his family was
assembled, and seized one of the little children by the hair, but fortunately
missed its bite. Mr. Blinkworth who was confined to the house with
lame hand, alertly seized the animal by the tail and dashing it on the
ground, speedily killed it".
The Wellington Times & Agricultural & Mining Gazette of the 19th
May 1892 (p. 2) reports:
"NATIVE TIGER. - T. Whitton, of Ringwood, E. B. and M. B. Railway, writes
under Monday's date as follows: ' The following may be of interest to many
of your readers: - I have often heard it said that a native tiger will
run away from a man and not show fight, but I can assure you that was not
the case with one I caught in a snare on Friday last. Several tigers
have been in the habit of coming about our camp and I determined to set
some snares in the hope of catching some of the prowlers, and was successful.
About 4 a.m. on Friday I was awakened by the dogs barking. Thinking
of the tigers I at once jumped out of bed, and seeing that a tiger was
trapped I roused all hands to have a hand in killing it. When we
approached to within a few yards of him he made a bound at us and
but the animal made
a jump at Ted who dropped his stick and scrambled up a small blackwood
tree with remarkable agility, and there he remained until the tiger was
killed by G. and C. Randall, assisted by myself. Ted was considerably
scared and said he did not care about coming down the tree to face a man-eater.
The tiger measured 4ft. 11in. in length 23in. in height at the shoulder,
and 15½ in. round the neck. The head was sent to Mr. R. Ryan,
of Burnie, for exhibition. The tiger's head was inspected by a large
number of persons up to yesterday, many of whom remarked that they had
never seen larger from a native animal; but yesterday the head had to be
thrown away as it was manifesting signs of decay".
thylacine at the Beaumaris Zoo (SB), circa 1916. The tail of another
thylacine can be seen exiting the frame at the far left. Photographer
unknown. Source: Moeller archives.
the snare. As luck would have it a kangaroo dog belonging to C. Randall
was close handy and at once seized the tiger by the throat, while a little
dog got hold of him by one of the hind legs. There was another kangaroo
dog standing by but when matters were getting very warm for the other dogs
he "scooted" home. The tiger got into the bush with both the dogs
hanging on to him but they kept their hold and succeeded in driving the
tiger out on to the road. At this stage I rushed up and got hold
of the tiger's tail while Ted Powell came up with a stick to kill him,
In an article entitled "Fight with a Tasmanian Tiger", published
in the Adelaide Observer of the 22nd July 1882 (p. 5), it states:
"A gentleman from Kentishbury has received a letter from Waratah,
in which the writer says that whilst Messrs. Hall Brothers and Exel were
at work on the Bischoff and Corina track, a large hyena, either from hunger
or ferocity, attacked the party, and a very exciting fight took place,
those engaged in the defence only having sticks to keep the animal off.
After two or three attempts by the hyena to seize hold of one of the Messrs.
Hall, that gentleman struck the brute a severe blow on the nose, which
bled profusely. The animal then made off into the scrub, but after
a time crept back again to the attack, and the battle was renewed fiercely,
but this time the hyena was dispatched, and, on measurement, his length
was found to be five feet, exclusive of tail".
The Launceston based newspaper "The Cornwall Chronicle" of the 21st February
1872 (p. 2), notes the following seafarer's yarn:
"The master of the schooner Emu, from the Pieman,
reports that on his arrival there about six weeks ago, his cook, who had
gone on shore, was chased by a native tiger, and only escaped by taking
to the water".
at the Beaumaris Zoo (QD), circa 1920s. Photographer unknown.
A story from the Daily Telegraph of the 2nd August 1899 (p. 8) shows that
the thylacine is in fact placid enough to hand feed:
"The marsupial wolf, commonly known as tiger, has recently been making
his unsightly presence felt in the settlement of Green Point and its vicinity.
About a week since Mrs Arnold, a resident of that favoured locality, observed
near her house what she supposed to be a starving stray dog of most singular
shape and colour. The good woman charitably fed the animal on some
kangaroo meat rather too gamey for domestic use, and upon her son returning
home found that she had been entertaining a tiger-wolf unawares".
Aggressive encounters between thylacines are rare, but did occasionally
occur. Dr. Stephen Sleightholme (pers. comm. 3rd April 2012), Project
Director to the International Thylacine Specimen Database, made the following
observation on skins that he examined:
of skins is often an indication of territoriality in male animals.
This has not been evident on any of the male thylacine skins I have inspected
for the purpose of this work. The absence of scarification may be
indicative of a low level of direct aggression between males when staking
their claim to a territorial area".
Perhaps the best documented
example of aggression between thylacines is that between a male and female
at the US National Zoo (Washington, DC). On the 5th July 1905, the
zoo received a young male thylacine from Dr. F. W. Goding. After
just a few weeks, the male was introduced to the zoo's existing female,
and they appeared to be getting on well. As an unrelated pair, one
can only assume that the zoo was hoping for a successful pairing that might
have resulted in young. Initially, they were kept separated at feeding
times and during the night to save any potential confrontation, but as
the curator W. H. Blackburne noted in the "Daily Report of Animal Department"
dated October 7th 1905, the male attacked the female on the morning of
the 6th October, inflicting damage to her ear and face.