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THE THYLACINE IN CAPTIVITY:
- JAMES HARRISON - TASMANIAN ANIMAL DEALER -
(page 5)
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    The last known verified thylacine to be killed in the wild was that shot by Wilfred Batty at Mawbanna on the 6th May 1930.  In an interview published in the Australian Women's Weekly on the 24th September 1980 (pp. 40-41), Batty recalls:

    "I sold tiger for 5 pounds to Tiger Harrison, of Wynyard, who sold him to Hobart Museum for stuffing, who sent him on tour of Australia, and I haven't heard since where tiger is".

    Harrison therefore has the dubious distinction of purchasing and selling the remains of the last recorded wild thylacine killed in Tasmania.  The location of this specimen, and whether it still exists, is currently unknown (Sleightholme & Ayliffe 2013).  Harrison failed to secure any further thylacines following the Batty purchase.  He did, however, continue to try.  Harrison was an experienced bushman. The Advocate of the 13th April 1927 (p. 4) notes:

    "Mr. James Harrison who takes a keen interest in the fauna and flora, left yesterday for a periodical trip to the outback of the far North-West Coast.  Harrison intends spending several days in the regions of the Arthur River in quest of native animals and minerals"..

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James Harrison purchases / acquisitions of thylacines (1910 - 1930) [Incomplete]
Source: Thylacine Museum
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Date A/J/P/PY Sex Quantity Captured by Capture locality Purchased (£) Ref FN
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(July) 1910 J F 1 W. McDonald Irishtown 1 1
1912 1 Dick Evans £10
1914 J 3 A. R. Rowe Brittons Swamp £5 each 2
(Oct) 1915 A F 1 M. Bourke 20 miles from Wynyard 3
(May) 1916 J F 1 Messrs. Foy Top Cage, Arthur River 4
(Jun) 1916 A M 1 Frank Upston Meunna £25 5 1
(Mar) 1917 A M 1 Unknown Elliott 6 2
(Jun) 1917 A M 1 Almer & Ted Saward West Montagu £10.3d 7 3
Pre-1928 A 1 James Harrison Hellyer River 8
Pre-1928 A 1 James Harrison Parrawe 8 4
1922 1 Harry Wainwright South of Arthur River £10 9
(Aug) 1926 A 1 Forward & Harman
(4/8/1926)
Salmon River 10
10/3/1928 J 1 Chester & Hope Arthur River 11 5
1929 M 1 Family of Ray "Turk" Porteus £11 12 6
(Jun) 1929 J M 1 Adye Jordon Arthur River (8km from West Takone) 13
1930 A ? Ken Willoughby Arthur River Mill 50 shillings
13/5/1930 A M 1 Wilf Batty Mawbanna £5 14 7
Aug 1931 A M 1 J. M. Kaine Lapoinya 15
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Total:
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20
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A/J/P/PY Adult / Juvenile / Pup
Dead specimen
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References:. 1. Northwest Advocate and the Emu Bay Times 23/7/1910; 2. Ballarat Courier 5/6/1914 p. 4 & Rowe interview (1951); 3. Northwest Advocate and the Emu Bay Times 23/10/1915 p. 4; 4. Northwest Advocate and the Emu Bay Times 13/5/1916 p. 2; 5. Archives Office of Tasmania, AOT 896/37, Thylacine Competition Entry, Doherty, 2/9/1981; 6. Examiner 6/3/1917 p. 3; 7. Saward, A. 1990. Experiences with the Tasmanian tiger, Circular Head Local History Journal, 3, (2) pp. 24-25 / Northwest Advocate and the Emu Bay Times 7/6/1917 p. 4 / Roberts diary entry 13/6/1917; 8. Blackwell Interview, 1951; 9. Malley & Brown interview (1/10/1972); 10. Circular Head Chronicle 11/8/1926 p. 5 & Mercury 24/8/1954 p. 4; 11. Burnie Advocate 20/3/1928 p. 4; 12. Mrs. Porteus (Dec 2011, pers. comm.); 13. Minutes of Zoological & Acclimatisation Soc. Victoria, Oct / Nov 1929 & Advocate 15/2/1986 p. 6; 14. Examiner 1/5/2005; 15. Dr. S. Sleightholme (interview with descendant).
Footnotes:  1. Amputated foot; 2. Interview - Kath Doherty, daughter of Frank Upston.  In the interview, Doherty states the thylacine was sent to Taronga, but this is incorrect; 3. Transferred to Beaumaris Domain site upon Roberts? death; 4. This is the specimen sold to Beaumaris Zoo [Sandy Bay] on the 13th June 1917 that was returned to Harrison with inflamed foot; 5. Sold to Colin MacKenzie for £50; 6. Leg broken on capture; 7. This entry is a personal recollection by Turk Porteus's wife, cited many years after the event; 8. Last wild-killed thylacine.
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(Research on this listing is ongoing and further updates will be added as they become available.)
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James Harrison sales of thylacines (1910 - 1930) [Incomplete]
Source: Thylacine Museum
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Date A/J/P/PY Sex Quantity Captured by Sold Price (£) Ref FN
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(July) 1910 J F 1 W. McDonald Melbourne Zoo Donated 1 1
1912 1 Dick Evans £10
(Jun) 1914 J 3 A. R. Rowe Melbourne Zoo £45 2
1915 A M 1 M. Bourke Beaumaris (SB) (23/10/1915) £17.10/- 3
(Jun) 1916 A M 1 Frank Upston ? 4
1916 J F 1 Messrs. Foy Beaumaris (SB) (09/06/1916) 3
1917 A M 1 Beaumaris (SB) (13/06/1917) & Beaumaris (QD) (27/11/1921 - 15/10/1922) £20.1/- 3
(Jun) 1917 A M 1 Almer & Ted Saward Beaumaris (SB) (30/06/1917) 2
(Aug) 1924 2 Beaumaris (QD) £46.6/- 3
1928 J M? 1 Prof. Colin MacKenzie (11/05/1928) £12 5 4
(May) 1928 J 1 Probably Chester & Hope capture Prof. Colin MacKenzie
Melbourne Zoo
£50 5
1929 J M 1 Adye Jordon Melbourne Zoo £45 6
6/5/1930 A M 1 Wilf Batty Tasmanian Museum
(according to Batty)
7 4
Aug 1931 A M 1 J. M. Kaine Beaumaris (QD) 8
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Total:
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17
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A/J/P/PY Adult / Juvenile / Pup
Dead specimen
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References:. 1. Northwest Advocate and the Emu Bay Times 23/7/1910; 2. Minutes of Zoological & Acclimatisation Soc. Victoria, Jun 1914; 3. Roberts's diary; 4. Archives Office of Tasmania, AOT 896/37, Thylacine Competition Entry, Doherty, 2/9/1981; 5. Noted as available for purchase in Harrison's notebook and subsequently purchased by MacKenzie; 6. Minutes of Zoological & Acclimatisation Soc. Victoria, Oct / Nov 1929 & Advocate 15/2/1986 p. 6; 7. Examiner 1/5/2005; 8. Dr. S. Sleightholme (interview with descendant).
Footnotes. 1.  Amputated foot; 2. Returned 3/7/1917 with inflamed foot; 3. Not exhibited at Beaumaris [QD]; 4. Dead specimen.
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(Research on this listing is ongoing and further updates will be added as they become available.)

    The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times of the 10th November 1909 (p. 4) notes: 

    "Mr. James Harrison and two or three men intend starting in a few days time to find a track from Wynyard to Balfour.  Mr. Harrison expects to be back in a fortnight, when he will report fully about his trip".

    Harrison cut a track at reduced cost from Myalla to the Arthur River for the Ministry of Mines, in greater part to open up areas for trapping native animals.  In a letter to James Balfour Scott, the Secretary for Mines, dated 29th May 1935, Harrison outlined his proposal:

    "Dear Sir,

Following our conversation this morning (on phone).  I would like you to give me your answer within a few days as I have a lot of animals to secure for the Museum in Hobart also for the Zoological Park in Melbourne.  I have offered to cut the tracks cheaply as I can obtain these animals over the Arthur River and the winter is the best time to catch them.  Awaiting you esteemed reply".

    Undoubtedly, the only animal worthy of this considerable effort would have been the thylacine. 

    James Harrison died peacefully at his local hospital in Wynyard on the 29th September 1943, aged 83 years. He will be remembered as the last of Tasmania's "tiger" men.

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References
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