(page 6)

    In an article entitled "The Native Tiger" published in the Mercury newspaper of the 19th September 1882 (p. 3), the exploits of a hunter by the name of Oscar and his trusted dog Wrangel in killing a tiger are detailed:

    "While resting in the soft ferns with my companions by my side, who are already in the land of dreams, my dog sleeping in a bush of cut grass a short distance from the tent, the fire had burnt down so as to make it only just visible in the darkness.  Some undefined noise keeps me wakeful, with my sense of hearing strained to the utmost to make out the meaning of a peculiar creaking sound.  At last I felt certain that I heard the breaking of a dried stick coming into contact with a moving body.

    Gently lifting up the side of the tent, and thrusting out my head and arm, in the low position as I am lying on the ferns, I soon make out in the pitchy darkness the appearance of two phosphorus like orbs which slowly approach.  ln a few more seconds I can dimly discern by a light shooting up from a few leaves on the almost expiring fire, the long round body of the native wolf or tiger.

    I get a tighter grip on the handle of my tomahawk, ready to give a warm reception to my night visitor.  I remain motionless, watching the monster sneaking towards me, expecting every moment that it will take a leap and commence battle; but this seems not to be their general tactic in the night.  Just then it seemed to perceive me lying under the tent, and gave vent to a low angry snarl.  I raised my weapon, and with a swift blow down, as I thought, on the brute's head.  But the darkness misled me, and the blow fell short of doing any execution, but near enough to draw a few drops of blood, and thus to stop the brute's further progress.

    My companions were awakened by the disturbance, and gave vent to some rather unpolite expressions.  The dog got the scent of his great enemy and set up a

The Hobart Town Gazette (2 Dec. 1826)
An announcement from the Hobart Town Gazette of the 2nd December 1826 (p. 2).  Note the statement,"...so nearly allied to the fox or wolf...", even though the latter part of the sentence makes clear that the thylacine is in fact a marsupial and not a canid.  In the early 19th century, mammals were usually grouped (even by scientists) simply by their general physical form, rather than their actual taxonomic relationships.  Most terrestrial mammals were simply referred to as "quadrupeds".
furious barking, and with this salute from bipeds and canine, the feline gentleman made himself scarce, and, unluckily, we had no firearms to persuade him to stop and make a nearer acquaintance.  However, the dog rushed after him into the scrub, but soon came back; apparently he did not see the fun of a night attack. 
    Up to the time that this adventure occurred, I was under the common impression that the native tiger would not kill its own food, but was a mere cowardly scavenger.  But I now think that this idea can hardly be true, as his aggressive movement in this instance was too decided to be mistaken. 

    Afterwards, in the course of many weeks, we had ample opportunities to Iearn the habits of the native tiger in this respect, and we observed that it hunts animals with the pertinacity of a pack of wolves on the steppes of frozen Russia.  This native tiger is not swift, and is very awkward in turning, but it follows the trail by its never-erring scent, and in the long run is sure of its prey.

thylacine - journal of George Augustus Robinson, 1834
An early pencil drawing of a thylacine (dated 1834) from the journal of George Augustus Robinson, Chief Protector of Aborigines in Tasmania's Port Phillip District from 1839 to 1849.  Courtesy: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.
    While travelling one day over some rocky, points we quite easily caught a kangaroo, well-nigh run to the ground by the tiger.  After despatching the hunted victim we had a sharp look-out for the enemy.  ln a little while he came along with his nose following the trail.  When within some hundred yards he took the alarm, turned tail, and escaped into the jungle.  My dog, a courageous and very strongly built animal, followed the tiger into the dense scrub.  Slowly I made my way through the obstructions, and at last heard the baying signal of Wrangel a long distance off, too far for me to penetrate
during the short time the battle lasted.  In half an hour's time he came to me bleeding and with his tail down, showing in his dejected appearance, as plainly as words could tell, about the lost engagement with the enemy.  A few kind words had the effect of restoring his wounded feelings, and a good feed from the meat of the killed kangaroo made him all right again.  But this constant disappointment in coming to close quarters made me even more determined to be the owner of a striped skin if a chance offered, before I left the coast. 

    I had noticed that the tigers followed our trail, and often when travelling, I would leave my knapsack, and turn back a mile or more, with the object of surprising the animal on the open ground.  But he was too wary, and always made for the dense forest.  My dog seemed cowed, and never made an attempt to attack by himself. 

    On one beautiful afternoon, I was travelling towards our camp from a trip made that morning, for carrying stores to a newly formed depot.  I was returning without any weapon, except my large sheath knife.  The road led along the beach, the dog trotting peacefully by my side, or making a playful dart at the pretty little sand larks.  But why does he stop the play so suddenly, and pick out one of the many tracks that are so plainly visible on the soft surface of the sand? 

    Impressions of footprints are numerous of all the quadrupeds found on the West Coast.  Those of native tigers, Tasmanian devils, and kangaroos are seen everywhere, and many native cats, etc.  With a zeal I had not lately noticed, Wrangel giving out a deep bloodhound note, was off and on the warpath.  I followed as fast as possible, leaving the sandy beach behind, and turning round a rocky point, there was a glimpse of the dog in full pursuit of some large animal, which took to the scrub.  Directly the signal from Wrangel sounded at bay.  I rejoiced to know for certain that his enemy had made a stand.  The noise came from behind some closed horizontal bushes.  Taking in at a glance the position of the surroundings, one could see that no other means existed to come on to the
battlefield, except by crawling on hands and knees, under the interlaced bushes.  The angry growling of the tiger decided me to push to the assistance of my gallant Wrangel at once, and thus dragging my body over the ground, and under the bushes, I came pretty near running my head against the tiger, who was now placed between the dog and me.  No attack had as yet been made from either side.  I tried to rise to my feet, but could not, on account of the close branches above; the tiger made an attempt to fasten on to me, with his ugly row of teeth.  The dog's courage did not fail me at this critical moment.  He made a snap, and fastened on to his opponent's chest, for one instant only; but that served my purpose, to get a chance to make a stab with the bowie knife, and thus I succeeded in cutting the big brute's jugular vein, and his life blood streaming out settled the matter in a few seconds.  Nevertheless he had time to make a desperate effort to yaw me as I was quite close up to him.  However, I took a short stick in my left hand, and thrust it into his mouth.  He chewed it up like pulp.  In the meantime I came out from the bushes and once more stood on my feet, thankful that the encounter had come off so well, and making a promise to be prepared  with a better weapon in the next engagement with a native tiger. .
The Hobart Town Courier (28 Feb. 1829)
An article from the Hobart Town Courier of the 28th February 1829 (p. 2).  Note that it is erroneously states that the thylacine was "...striped with black and white on the back...".

    In a few minutes the body was dragged out on to the beach, and I found it to be that of an old male of very large size, measuring 8ft. in length, including the tail, and weighing about 1cwt.  I took off the skin, which shows 16 stripes.  A young full grown, animal rarely shows more, than seven or eight.

    As I had brought no firearms into the bush, I did not succeed in bagging any more tigers.  In fact, I did not care to venture again so close to them.  But I often saw them, though never had the temptation to risk another close encounter.  The dog, ever after the first night attack, had been very watchful, and would with his furious barking often wake me up, and on one occasion I saw, on a moonlight night, a big tiger making a hasty retreat from close to the tent, and then take to the water in a broad and deep river and disappear on the opposite shore.  But we never had another actual battle with one of these brutes".

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