Remains of the last Tasmanian tiger found in a museum closet

The Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) was a beautiful carnivorous marsupial that went extinct in the 1930s in part due to human hunting and encroachment on the animal's natural habitats. (To this day though, people report occasional sightings in the region.) The last thylacine died in Hobart, Tasmania's Beaumaris Zoo in 1936 but nobody knew what became of the body. Researchers have finally found the remains in a closet at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). It had been misidentified for decades and its skin used to teach students about marsupials. The last thylacine's skin and skeleton are now on public display in the museum. From The Guardian:

[TMAG curator of vertebrate zoology, Dr Kathryn] Medlock said they discovered a taxidermist's report in the museum's unpublished 1936/37 annual report which mentioned a thylacine among the list of specimens worked on.

This led to a review of all the thylacine skins and skeletons in TMAG's collection.

"We tried to work out which specimens we could trace to something. There was just a skeleton and flat skin left over," Medlock said.

"We were able to determine the specimen … had been prepared by a taxidermist. Not as a research specimen, that's why it wasn't recorded, but as an education specimen."

image: Australian Museum