Harry Wainwright (the
son of George "Tiger" Wainwright), states with reference to the speed of
the thylacine when running:
"Tigers were very
fast and could not be caught on horseback. They have a four legged run
and do not get up on their hind legs when pursued". (Source:
Moeller archives - typed manuscript [interview with Malley and Brown on
the 1st October 1972]).
Michael Sharland, in
his regular "Peregrine" column in the Mercury newspaper of the 25th
March 1939 (p. 5) notes: "Somewhat ungainly in form, and having an awkward,
though swift gait, its general appearance is much like that
of a wolf".
The Mercury newspaper
of the 30th September 1901 (p. 2), records the speed of a retreating tiger
being chased by a horse and rider:
"As S. M. Sampson,
a shepherd employed by Messrs. Fitzgerald Bros., of St. Pauls, Avoca, was
driving some sheep in from one of the runs recently, he was surprised by
the sudden appearance of a big native tiger. The animal quickly made
off, but Sampson pursued him in hot haste, spurring his horse to its utmost.
The tiger out-paced him, however, and was soon lost to sight".
Guiler & Godard
(1998) note: "All the old trappers told
of two hunting techniques used by the thylacine".
is known that wallaby under chase will run in a wide circle, and that a
thylacine would cut across the circle to grab the wallaby as it went past".
| 2) "The thylacine
is a persistent runner, loping after its prey until the animal finally
collapses from exhaustion". This hunting technique can be demonstrated
by a simple speed (S) vs time (T)
graph. The prey starts the chase faster than the thylacine, but tires
over time. The thylacine on the other hand, maintains a constant
speed, eventually catching up with the exhausted prey making for an easy
The thylacine's endurance
in the chase is noted by Michael Sharland in his regular "Peregrine"
column in the Mercury newspaper of the 25th March 1939 (p. 5). Sharland
"Hunting is done by scent and the animal is able to wear down
its prey in the chase, which may last for hours".
Little has been written
on the thylacine's method of kill. H.
Pearce, in an interview with Dr. Eric Guiler (Guiler & Godard
1998, p. 25), stated: "They hunt by lying in wait for their prey then
jump on it. Kangaroos are killed by standing on them and biting through
the short rib into the body cavity and ripping the rib cage open".
An interesting comment is noted in the Launceston Examiner of the 20th
January 1894 (p. 8), in which it states that "native tigers" preferred
sheep that had not been dipped:
"Most well dipped sheep are not troubled
by the blow fly, and are not killed by the native tiger if that animal
can get undipped ones, for most dips have a sulphurous odour which is most
noticeable to animals and men".
A comment by Clive Lord (Curator of the Tasmanian Museum) was published
in the World newspaper of the 19th Jan 1920 (p. 3) on the relationship
between the Tasmanian devil and thylacine:
"...Mr. Lord, who added that it is a typical trick of the animal (Tasmanian
devil) to follow the Tasmanian tiger about the bush and feed on the remains
of that gentleman's kills".