Below is a photo of farmer Wilfred ("Wilf") Batty with the thylacine he
shot after seeing it kill poultry on his Mawbanna property around noon
on Tuesday, 6 May 1930. The thylacine (a male) was killed with one
shot to the shoulder and took around 20 minutes to die. Batty has
since acquired the notorious distinction of having made the last documented
thylacine kill. This photograph was taken by Pat O'Halloran, a postal
mechanic from Stanley. The following day, the carcass was sold to
the animal dealer James
Harrison of Wynyard for £5 who in turn, according to Batty,
sold it to the Hobart Museum where the body was prepared for taxidermy
before being sent on tour around Australia (Anon. 1980). The present
location of the taxidermy is unknown. Note the dog's fear of the
thylacine; Batty commented that his dogs were so terrified by the presence
of the corpse that they did not go near the house for three days afterwards.
Batty with the thylacine he shot on the 6th May 1930.
additional photos of the thylacine killed by Wilf Batty. The first
image, which depicts the final, sad moments just before its death, is said
to have been taken by a Mr. Lily. If so, the second photograph (in
which the animal appears to be dead) was presumably taken by him as well.
Both photographs were of course taken prior to Pat O'Halloran's image,
which shows Mr. Batty posing beside the stiffened body.
In the "Letters to
the Editor" section of the Mercury newspaper of the 4 January 1937
is an impassioned plea by D. Colbron Pearse, the President of the Field
Naturalists Club of Tasmania, to save the "tiger":
in Australia's unique fauna will be pleased to read in 'The Mercury' of
January 2, that at last a real effort is being made to save the koala from
extinction. The apathy, towards this important subject of fauna preservation
has always been very marked, and more so in Tasmania than on the Mainland.
Here we have a far more interesting and valuable animal than the koala,
one that is becoming rarer each year, and yet no steps are taken to preserve
it. I refer to the marsupial wolf, or tiger. Many hundreds
of koala are still to be found in their wild state, but from all accounts,
it's doubtful if today there exist one hundred tigers.
scientists, including Dr. J. Pearson of our Museum, have frequently pointed
out the necessity for its preservation. About two years ago Mr. A.
W. Burbury speaking at a meeting of the Fauna Board said that the animal
was of tremendous scientific value and moved that the Government be approached
with a view to establishing a sanctuary, but the motion lapsed for want
of a seconder. So far no steps have been taken to protect the tiger
beyond placing it on the partially protected list, as far as I know.
The first step should be fully to protect it, and heavily fine or imprison
anyone capturing or shooting it, besides which it should be an offence
to possess a skin. Occasionally a specimen is sent to our zoo where
it invariably dies within a few weeks; another victim to indifference and
Are we going to sit
down quietly and allow this unique animal to die out within a short period?
Something must be done and done quickly if we wish to avoid the slur which
is bound to fall upon its extinction. If every interested person,
and everyone should be interested, voiced his and her opinion, we might
get a move on in the right direction and win the approbation of the world
for our efforts in saving the Thylacine".