Freeman (2008) responded to Paddle's critique in an article published in
the Australian Zoologist entitled "On seeing the big picture:
A reply to Paddle (2008)" in which she disputes Paddle's conclusion
that the Tyenna male was the subject of Burrell's photos, based on observations
of its stripe pattern. Freeman states:
"All thylacines have very similar patterning of long, short and bifurcate
stripes, so vague verbal descriptions of their configuration cannot constitute
valid evidence. There is no proof that the animal in the Burrell
photograph is the Tyenna male or any other thylacine at Beaumaris Zoo".
With respect to the location at which the Burrell images were taken, one
must look for clues within the photographs that might assist in identification.
The fact that the enclosure was "staged" for the photographs is in no doubt.
This would have been within the photographer's sanction, depending on the
type of images he was trying to obtain; in this instance a series of images
with naturalistic backgrounds to give the impression, when cropped, of
a thylacine in the wild killing a chicken. This would explain the
use of the hessian (=burlap) cloth to provide a neutral backdrop, and the
use of broken branches, rocks, leaves and ferns to obscure the rear of
Paddle contends that the photographs were taken at the Beaumaris Zoo at
its Sandy Bay site. The zoo at that time was privately owned by Mrs.
Roberts. Freeman counters Paddle's argument in stating:
"Paddle's focus on the wiring and construction of the enclosure in the
photographs of the thylacine with a chicken and 'the thylacine cage in
Beaumaris Zoo after the renovation of 28th August 1911' is ill advised.
Lattice and chicken wire of various gauges were the most common materials
used in the construction of the hen houses, aviaries, rabbit hutches, and
many other domestic and wildlife enclosures frequently on Australian properties
from the late nineteenth century to at least the 1950s. It is therefore
necessary to be very careful in identifying the location of any specific
On the mainland, in the four zoos that exhibited thylacines (Adelaide,
Moore Park, Taronga and Melbourne), thylacines were kept in concrete floored,
barred enclosures. The Thylacine Museum has not been able to identify
any private zoo on the mainland that kept thylacines. Undoubtedly,
simple chicken wire enclosures were used to house small mammals and birds
in mainland zoos, but the lattice and wire construction of the thylacine
enclosure shown in the Burrell photographs appears to have been unique
to the Beaumaris Zoo at its Sandy Bay site. The fencing also appears
in other, unrelated photographs that were taken at the Beaumaris Zoo (SB).