The Queensland Marsupial Feline
One branch of cryptozoology deals with animals thought to be extinct, such as the coelacanth, a fish thought to be so that was caught off of the coast of Africa in the 1900s. The Queensland Tiger, according to some zoologists might be not extinct, but could be a Thylacoleo, not one of the big cats, but a marsupial cat. There are fossilized specimens to document its existence. Witnesses describe the animal as having large fangs and other characteristics that match what scientists believe the animal looked like. Sightings of this cryptoid are rare and are still reported.
The Queensland Tiger also called the Queensland Marsupial Lion and Cat. It is not the same animal as the Tasmanian Tiger, Wolf or Thylacine according to Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman in their book, Cryptozoology* A to Z (Fireside, 1999).
Pictures drawn according to accounts of eyewitnesses clearly show a feline creature. The thylacine more closely resembles canines in pictures taken of the animal before it became extinct.
The tiger has been described as a cobby striped animal with a feline head about the size of a big dog. It’s nasty and has been reported to leap through the air and disembowel dogs. Many witnesses report that it has a hopping gait and can make huge jumps.
Encounters with the Queensland Tiger
Jerome Clark, Unexplained! (Visible Ink Press, 1999), describes sightings.
In the 1870s, police magistrate Brinsley G. Sherman wrote about his son’s encounter with the tiger near Rockingham Bay. It was evening. His son’s terrier picked up the scent of something and followed its trail, barking agitatedly. The son followed the dog and saw the strange animal. It was the size of a dingo, had a feline face, long tail and stripes on its back. The dog went after the beast, but it climbed up a tree. The dog barked at it and it rushed down the tree at the terrier and the boy.
Naturalist George Sharp saw the tiger in the early 1900s. It was at dusk near the source of the Tully River. It was bigger and darker than the thylacine. Shortly after this, a farmer killed one after it attacked his goats. Sharp followed the tracks and found the animal’s corpse. Although wild pigs had eaten the head and part of the body, the man was able to estimate it was five feet long. .
Ion L. Idriess who lived in York Peninsula claimed he saw a tiger disembowel a kangaroo. He also said he found a carcass of one by the Alice River after it died while fighting with his staghound who also died in the fray. The animal’s head was like a tiger’s.
H. Burrell and A. S. Le Souef wrote a book about Australian fauna and included an animal that appeared to be a cat who was getting to be a tiger. It lived in the remote rain forest on top of rocky mountains where people rarely go.