The Queensland Tiger is a German shepherd sized, striped cat like marsupial reportedly still living in the Queensland rainforest of Australia. Known to the Aborigines for many centuries and first brought to the attention of European Australians in the 1870’s, the Queensland Tiger experienced a flurry of sightings in North Queensland’s southern tropical rains forests during the 1940’s and 50’s. Eyewitnesses all gave similar reports of a striped tiger like animal sighted mainly around Maryborough and Gympie, just to the north of the Sunshine coast. Expeditions mounted in search of the creature came back empty handed.
One long standing theory suggests that the Queensland Tiger may be a surviving specimen of thylacoleonids, a group of carnivorous marsupials, sometimes called marsupial lions, known from fossil records that may have survived until as recently as 10,000 years ago. Thylacoleonids are part of the same marsupial group as wombats and until recently were poorly represented in the fossil record. It was hinted at by Bernard Heuvelmans that The Queensland Tiger maybe a species of Thylacoleonids known as Thylacoleo carnifex, this idea was expanded upon in 1989 by Karl Shuker and accepted by many researches in the field. After all both the Thylacoleo and the Queensland Tiger appear to have been short headed, sharp clawed, superficially cat like predator adept at tree climbing.
A more recent theory proposed by Australian mystery animal researcher Peter Chapple stats that the Queensland Tiger never existed at all. He theorizes that sightings of the Queensland Tiger were the misidentification of Thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian Tiger or Marsupial wolf. This theory however is not a new idea, it was first official proposed by Ellis Troughton in the 1965 edition of Furred Animals of Australia and was proposed again in 1987 by Victor Albert. Albert suggested that the Queensland Tiger could possibly be a short faced variant of the Thylacine. Giving some support to this theory is the often over looked assertion by Heuvelmans in 1986 that, contrary to his 1955 theory, the Queensland Tiger is much more likely to be a relict of the supposedly extinct mainland Thylacine..
There are holes in the Thylacine theory though, firstly, there is at least one Australian cave painting that seems to depict a large striped cat like animal which does not appear to be a Thylacine. Secondly, most eyewitness reports of the Queensland Tiger are vague and could well have been a sighting of the Thylacine, however there are a few that seem to describe a creature which could not have been a Thylacine. Thirdly, the idea that Queensland Tigers are actually specimens of Thylacine would require use to accept that the Thylacine, which officially went extinct on the main land over 2300 years ago, has survived undetected to present day.
To this day the mystery of the Queensland Tiger remains unsolved, could they be a mainland sighting of the extinct Thylacine or even a relict population of marsupial cats known from fossil records and believed to have gone extinct over 10,000 years ago? Knowing that the scientific community will require a live or dead specimen of Queensland Tiger before accepting it, proving the existence of this creature may cause more harm than good, with obviously low numbers already could the breeding population sustain the loss of even one of its members without causing their numbers to drop even lower?
While some pictures and the occasional footprint have been found, no physical evidence exists that supports the existence of the Queensland Tiger.
In 1961, Craig Black claims to have seen a Queensland Tiger in Ben Lomond National Park; he was quoted as saying, “I am positive I saw that it was carrying a pouched cub.”
In 1964, Rilla Martin took a picture of what is thought to be The Queensland Tiger.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Classification: Hybrid / Other
• Size: Roughly that of an adult Germen Sheppard
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Carnivorous
• Location: Australia
• Movement: Four legged walking
• Environment: Tropical Forest