The World newspaper (Hobart) of the 6th February 1924 (p. 5) confirms that
even though the Beaumaris Zoo (QD) in Hobart had two thylacines on display
in 1924, Mullins's thylacines (as fairground attractions) still attracted
a steady stream of visitors:
"Despite the fact that the Hobart Zoo contains two fine specimens of the
Tasmanian Tiger, the sign 'Wild Animals from Van Diemen's Land, Tasmanian
Tigers," attracted a steady stream of patrons who gladly parted with the
nimble shilling to gaze on the products of their native isle".
The World newspaper of the 9th February 1924 (p. 4) confirms the date of
the Mullins purchase:
"Additions to Zoo. - Interesting additions to the Beaumaris Zoo during
the week were four Tasmanian tigers, the mother and three cubs, which were
purchased by the City Council from the showman who had the animals on view
at the Hobart Regatta. They are very fine specimens".
mother thylacine and her three pups that were captured by Walter Mullins
in the Florentine Valley in 1924. They were subsequently displayed
in this cart at country fairs around Tasmania, prior to being sold to the
Beaumaris Zoo. The photo was taken near Bicheno, on the east coast
of Tasmania, by a Mr. H. J. King, of Trevallyn.
According to the late Dr. Eric Guiler, Australia's leading authority on
the thylacine, the mother of the pups either died or was traded
shortly after arriving at the zoo, as nothing further is noted about her.
Of her three cubs, a male pup died within a month of arriving at the zoo
at the end of March 1924 and its body sold to the Tasmanian Museum on the
3rd April 1924. Another of the pups (sex unknown) died in July 1925.
The remaining pup, and this is where the controversy arises, is said to
be the last known captive thylacine, which died on the evening of the 7th
September 1936 after a record twelve years and seven
months in captivity.
It is worth noting at this juncture that an extended life span of this
duration is significantly above that which was typical for the species.
The late Professor Heinz Moeller, Europe's principal authority on the thylacine,
quoted 10 years as the maximum life span for the species in captivity (Moeller,
pers. comm. with Dr. S. Sleightholme, Aug.